Remote shared decision making through telemedicine: A systematic review of the literature

Sandra A. Hartasanchez, Anja Fog Heen, Marleen Kunneman, Andrea García-Bautista, Ian G. Hargraves, Larry J. Prokop, Carl R. May, Victor M. Montori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: To assess the extent to which shared decision making (SDM) can take place in telemedicine (remote SDM). Methods: We searched Medline, Cochrane, and Scopus from 2010 until August 7th, 2020 for articles on remote SDM in the care of any patient using any technology. We also conducted a search for telemedicine articles citing key reports on SDM outcome measures. Two reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts, reviewed full text eligible studies, and synthesized their content using thematic analysis. Results: Of the 12 eligible articles, most were European with patients with chronic disease or mental and behavioral health. 8 articles used synchronous remote SDM and 1 used asynchronous remote SDM. Themes related to interactional workability of both telemedicine technologies and SDM emerged, namely access to broadband, digital literacy, and satisfaction with the convenience of remote visits. Conclusions: Telemedicine technologies may foster virtual interactions that support remote SDM, which, in turn, may promote productive patient-clinician interactions and patient-centered care. Practice implications: Digitally-mediated consultations surged amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent to which SDM frameworks developed for in-person use need any adaptation for remote SDM remains unclear. Investment in innovation, design, implementation, and effectiveness research to advance remote SDM are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-365
Number of pages10
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Patient centered care
  • Shared decision making
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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