Communicating with patients on evidence

Format: Texts
Language/s: English
Resource Link: View the Text (PDF)
Short Description:

This discussion paper from the US Institute of Medicine provides guidance on communicating evidence to patients.

Key Concepts addressed:


Testing Treatments is all about the importance of ensuring that our health care is based on fair tests of treatments.  But as we have shown, we are not always as good as it as we should be.

In order to minimise the risk of this happening in future, how should the evidence be communicated to patients?  What does the evidence say about the most effective way to achieve this?

This discussion paper from the US Institute of Medicine was produced by a round table of expert panellists in order to address these issues.

This report includes a review of what we know about communicating evidence. It shows that engaging patients in decision-making leads to a better clinical outcome.

Amongst the report’s conclusions are:

  1. People desire a patient experience that includes deep engagement in shared decision making
  2. There is a gap between what people want and what they get regarding engagement in health care
  3. People who are more engaged in health care report a better experience
  4. People have clear preferences for evidence communication
  5. Most people agree that their health data should be used to help improve the care of future patients who might have the same or similar conditions.

The report includes a timely reminder that evidence from systematic research must always be used alongside patient’s values and objectives to provide the best possible care.

A continuously learning health system can deliver truly patient-centered care only when patient preferences—informed by medical evidence and provider expertise—are elicited, integrated, and honored.