• Study
  • Published August 2016

Physician understanding and ability to communicate harms and benefits of common medical treatments.

Shared decision-making is critical to high quality care and requires that providers accurately communicate risks and benefits of potential treatment options and tests to patients. This study surveyed residents and attendings regarding the rates of benefits and harms associated with routine medical interventions, their confidence in responses, use of statistical terminology when counseling patients on treatment options, and awareness of high-value campaigns. Investigators found that regardless of level of training, physicians overestimated both the harms and benefits of tests and treatments. Results also showed that most physicians did not use statistical terminology when explaining options to patients.

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