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Collaborative Decision Making, Uncertainty in

  • By: Paul K. J. Han
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Collaborative decision making is an increasingly influential ideal embodied in several aspirational goals of health care, including shared decision making, patient engagement, patient empowerment, and patient-centered care. It acknowledges the legitimacy of the perspective of patients as well as clinicians and the need for both parties to share responsibility for making health care decisions. At the same time, collaborative decision making poses difficult challenges because it requires patients and clinicians to share not only the responsibility for making decisions but also the various uncertainties that surround these decisions. Collaborative decision making thus ultimately requires effective strategies for managing and communicating uncertainty.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word collaborative as “used or done by a number of people as a group.” The application of this term to ...

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