Shared decision-making in the People’s Republic of China: current status and future directions
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BACKGROUND: Severe insufficiencies in the supply and inequities in the distribution of health care professionals, facilities, and services create conditions for limited quality of care and lack of trust - even violent conflict - between clinicians and patients in the People's Republic of China. Alongside structural reform, shared decision-making (SDM) may help meet the needs and advance the goals of each patient. Little is known, however, about the realities and opportunities for SDM in the People's Republic of China. METHODS: To identify reports of SDM in the People's Republic of China, we used multiple sources, including: several databases, searched in English and Chinese, online journals, and clinical trial registries. In addition, we contacted experts in the field to identify any articles missed through our other search strategies. We included all trials and surveys reporting on SDM in Chinese patients. We summarized these studies by describing them with particular attention to reports of patient decisional preference and of the impact of SDM interventions on outcomes in Chinese patients. RESULTS: We identified five surveys examining patient preference for SDM and nine studies examining constructs related to SDM in Chinese patients, but none involving patients in Mainland China. We could not find any reports of development, testing, or implementation of SDM tools for patients in Mainland China. CONCLUSION: The research on SDM in the People's Republic of China is limited, with almost no direct evidence to inform clinical policies or implementation. Although multiple barriers are apparent, the value of implementing, testing, and disseminating effective SDM in the People's Republic of China in terms of patient experience and outcomes demands urgent realization.
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