The role of patient activation in preferences for shared decision making: Results from a national survey of U.S. Adults

Samuel G. Smith*, Anjali Pandit, Steven R. Rush, Michael S. Wolf, Carol J. Simon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies investigating preferences for shared decision making (SDM) have focused on associations with sociodemographic variables, with few investigations exploring patient factors. We aimed to investigate the relationship between patient activation and preferences for SDM in 6 common medical decisions among a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of American adults. Adults older than 18 were recruited online (n = 2,700) and by telephone (n = 700). Respondents completed sociodemographic assessments and the Patient Activation Measure. They were also asked whether they perceived benefit (yes/no) in SDM in 6 common medical decisions. Nearly half of the sample (45.9%) reached the highest level of activation (Level 4). Activation was associated with age (p <.001), higher income (p =.001), higher education (p =.010), better self-rated health (p <.001), and fewer chronic conditions (p =.050). The proportion of people who agreed that SDM was beneficial varied from 53.1% (deciding the necessity of a diagnostic test) to 71.8% (decisions associated with making lifestyle changes). After we controlled for participant characteristics, higher activation was associated with greater perceived benefit in SDM across 4 of the 6 decisions. Preferences for SDM varied among 6 common medical scenarios. Low patient activation is an important barrier to SDM that could be ameliorated through the development of behavioral interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

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