NewsHelping people make decisions about health care and screening

Helping people make decisions about health care and screening


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The Cochrane Library has recently released an editorial shedding light on the historical journey of a recently updated Cochrane review focused on healthcare decision aids and its far-reaching implications for medical practice. Accompanying this insightful editorial is a podcast featuring the current lead author, succinctly explaining the necessity behind the review and presenting its latest findings within a concise four-minute timeframe.

Healthcare decision aids stand as a vital tool in facilitating shared decision-making between patients and healthcare professionals, a cornerstone of person-centered care and systemic enhancements in healthcare. The latest comprehensive update to the landmark Cochrane review on decision aids delves into an analysis of 209 studies, involving a staggering 107,698 participants. The review offers compelling evidence supporting the advantages of decision aids over conventional care across a diverse spectrum of health options, ranging from choices related to cancer screening to decisions about major elective surgery.

The accompanying editorial provides an insightful narrative of the profound influence this review has exerted on medical practice for over two decades. Successive updates have dynamically responded to evolving perspectives on decision aids and shared decision-making. The review has found a prominent place in over 90 clinical practice guidelines and has stood as one of the most cited reviews in the Cochrane Library for over a decade.

With the emergence of more robust evidence supporting the benefits of decision aids, the editorial critically discusses the practical implications of these findings and outlines some of the persistent challenges in implementing decision aids effectively. The Cochrane review, with its commitment to periodic updates, aspires to have its findings not only integrated into numerous guidelines but also adopted across diverse healthcare systems.

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