Patient-Centered Care and Preference-Sensitive Decision Making

This commentary addresses potential complications when physicians aim to provide both evidence-based and patient-centered care. While these two goals are often complementary, problems can arise when patient-centered care is not compatible with quality standards.

Key Findings:

  • Patients may choose to deviate from evidence-based guidelines of care for many reasons, including quality-of-life concerns, cost considerations, lifestyle choices and family decisions.
  • As physicians are held increasingly accountable for adherence to quality guidelines, patient preferences for nonstandard care may result in lower reimbursement or physician quality ratings.
  • Physicians must offer patients advice based on the best evidence available.

Competent adult patients have the right to choose care that does not adhere to quality guidelines. Physicians should incorporate patient preferences into treatment plans.