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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


PADILLA GARRIDO, Nuria et al. Physicians' awareness and assessment of shared decision making in oncology practice. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2019, vol.93, e201910066.  Epub 07-Sep-2020. ISSN 2173-9110.


Implementation of Shared Decision Making (SDM) in oncology is limited. The objective of the study was to determine the extent of physicians' awareness of Shared Decision Making (SDM) in their treatment of cancer patients, the usefulness that they assign to SDM, the role they play, their assessment of SDM, and perceptions of the main barriers and facilitators to its use.


A questionnaire was completed by medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and general surgeons working in Andalusia (Spain). Sociodemographic, clinical-care and aspects of SDM variables were collected. SDM was evaluated using the SDM-Q-Doc questionnaire. Non-parametric contrasts were used to determine the possible differences between medical specialties.


The questionnaire was sent to 351 physicians. The response rate was 37.04%, 63 women and 67 men, with an average age of 45.6 years and 18.04 years' experience. Of these, 33.08% were medical oncologists, 34.61% radiation oncologists and 29.23% general surgeons. A total of 82.3% stated they had received no training in SDM, whereas 33.8% said they knew a lot about SDM and applied it in practice; 80% considered it to be very useful. In addition, 60% of respondents said they were mainly the ones who made the decisions on treatment. An evaluation of SDM on the SDM-Q-Doc scale showed that all the specialities scored more than 80/100. The main barriers to applying SDM were the difficulty patients experienced in understanding what they needed to know, the lack of decision aids and time.


Some 82% of physicians have no training in SDM and 66% don´t use it in practice, with decisions on treatment taken mainly by the physicians themselves. Strategies to increase training in SDM and to implement it into clinical practice are important.

Palabras clave : Shared decision making; Physicianpatient relations; Neoplasms; Role; Barriers; Facilitators.

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