As the number of individuals with chronic illness increases so has the need for strategies to enable nurses to engage them effectively in daily management of their conditions. Shared decision making between patients and nurses is one approach frequently discussed in the literature. This paper reviews recent studies of shared decision making and the meaning of findings for the nurse-patient relationship. Patients likely to prefer to engage in shared decision making are younger and have higher levels of education. However, there is a lack of evidence for the effect of shared decision making on patient outcomes. Further, studies are needed to examine shared decision making when the patient is a child. Nurses are professionally suited to engage their patients fully in treatment plans. More evidence for how shared decision making affects outcomes and how nurses can successfully achieve such engagement is needed.

Keywords: Shared decision making, nurse-patient relationship, patient-clinician communication, patient-clinician collaboration, clinical role preference.
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