An information behaviour framework for informed and involved patients for clinical decisions: the role of Web 2.0 in shared decision-making

The prevalent in most healthcare settings clinical decision-making pattern is the one with the doctors being the exclusive decision-makers and the patients having an inactive role, excepting the decisions taken for them, because they differ to the physician’s information and knowledge. This fact is well grounded within our socioeconomic ethos and is supported, among others, by a studied information behaviour paradigm. The concept of the Web 2.0 is bringing about changes and drives innovation towards a new patient-doctor relationship for a more shared clinical decision-making pattern. Quite interestingly, recent research indicates that informed patients have better outcomes than patients who are passive recipients of care; while significant cost savings are achieved by reducing unnecessary medical interventions. Shared-decision goes beyond ethical and regulatory matters towards a cooperative process in which physicians and patients act together for improving the quality of diagnosis and treatment, based on patient’s informed preferences. This involves new roles from both parties, a novel “information counselling” model with the corresponding information behaviour change, based on the development of Web 2.0 healthcare services confidence. This paper initially provides an analysis of behaviour changes towards shared-decision making schemes due to the influences of the internet on clinician–patient relationship, through the provision of evidence-based information about options, outcomes and clinical uncertainties. Thereafter, the Wilson’s information behaviour model is employed, explained and expanded in order both parties to share information and decision-making responsibilities. The internet and Web 2.0 in particular through the development of new ways of interactivity have created a shift to a “shared information behaviour”; however, respect and confidence builds within “real world”, and changes usually takes place over time.


Friday, 6 April, 2012 - 11:50 to 13:10