What is a good medical decision? A research agenda guided by perspectives from multiple stakeholders

Jada G. Hamilton, Sarah E. Lillie, Dana L. Alden, Laura Scherer, Megan Oser, Christine Rini, Miho Tanaka, John Baleix, Mikki Brewster, Simon Craddock Lee, Mary K. Goldstein, Robert M. Jacobson, Ronald E. Myers, Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, Erika A. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Informed and shared decision making are critical aspects of patient-centered care, which has contributed to an emphasis on decision support interventions to promote good medical decision making. However, researchers and healthcare providers have not reached a consensus on what defines a good decision, nor how to evaluate it. This position paper, informed by conference sessions featuring diverse stakeholders held at the 2015 Society of Behavioral Medicine and Society for Medical Decision Making annual meetings, describes key concepts that influence the decision making process itself and that may change what it means to make a good decision: interpersonal factors, structural constraints, affective influences, and values clarification methods. This paper also proposes specific research questions within each of these priority areas, with the goal of moving medical decision making research to a more comprehensive definition of a good medical decision, and enhancing the ability to measure and improve the decision making process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-68
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Decision making
  • Decision quality
  • Patient participation
  • Patient-centered care
  • Physician–patient communication
  • Shared decision making


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