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Effective continuing professional development for translating shared decision making in primary care: A study protocol

France Légaré1*, Hilary Bekker2, Sophie Desroches1, Mary Politi3, Dawn Stacey4, Francine Borduas5, Francine M Cheater6, Jacques Cornuz7, Marie-France Coutu8, Norbert Donner-Banzhoff9, Nora Ferdjaoui-Moumjid10, Frances Griffiths11, Martin Härter12, Cath Jackson13, André Jacques14, Tanja Krones15, Michel Labrecque1, Rosario Rodriguez16, Michel Rousseau17 and Mark Sullivan18

Author Affiliations

1 Research Center of Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Hospital St-François D'Assise, Knowledge Transfer an Health Technology Assessment Research Group, 10 Espinay, Québec, QC, G1L 3L5, Canada

2 Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Charles Thackrah Building, University of Leeds, 101 Clarendon Road, Leeds, LS2 9LJ, UK

3 Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 700 Rosedale Ave, Campus Box 1009, St. Louis, MO 63112, USA

4 School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Guindon Hall, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8M5, Canada

5 Continuing Professional Development Office, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Pavillon Vandry, Cité Universitaire, Québec, QC, G1K 7P4, Canada

6 Institute for Applied Health Research, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, G4 0BA, UK

7 Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine & Clinical Epidemiology Centre, University of Lausanne, Bugnon 44, Lausanne, CH-1011, Switzerland

8 Centre for Action in Work Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Department, Université de Sherbrooke, Longueuil, 1111, St-Charles West, room 101 Longueuil, QC, J4K 5G4, Canada

9 Department of General Practice and Family Medicine, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Allgemeinmedizin, Präventive und Rehabilitative Medizin, Karl-von-Frisch-Straße 4, D-35043 Marburg, Germany

10 Centre Léon Bérard, Université de Lyon, 28 Rue Laennec, 69008 Lyon, France

11 Health Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

12 Institut und Poliklinik für Medizinische Psychologie, Zentrum für Psychosoziale Medizin, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52 (Gebäude W 26) D-20246 Hamburg, Germany

13 School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, Baines Wing Leeds, LS2 9UT, UK

14 Practice Enhancement Division, Collège des médecins du Québec, 2170, boulevard René-Lévesque West, Montreal, QC, H3H 2T8, Canada

15 Institute of Biomedical Ethics, Centre for Ethics of the University of Zurich, Pestalozzistrasse 24 CH-8032, Zurich, Switzerland

16 Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Pine 517 Montreal, QC, H2W 1S4, Canada

17 Departement of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Université Laval, Pavillon Vandry, Cité Universitaire, Québec, QC, G1K 7P4, Canada

18 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Box 356560, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

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Implementation Science 2010, 5:83  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-5-83

Published: 27 October 2010



Shared decision making (SDM) is a process by which a healthcare choice is made jointly by the healthcare professional and the patient. SDM is the essential element of patient-centered care, a core concept of primary care. However, SDM is seldom translated into primary practice. Continuing professional development (CPD) is the principal means by which healthcare professionals continue to gain, improve, and broaden the knowledge and skills required for patient-centered care. Our international collaboration seeks to improve the knowledge base of CPD that targets translating SDM into the clinical practice of primary care in diverse healthcare systems.


Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), our project is to form an international, interdisciplinary research team composed of health services researchers, physicians, nurses, psychologists, dietitians, CPD decision makers and others who will study how CPD causes SDM to be practiced in primary care. We will perform an environmental scan to create an inventory of CPD programs and related activities for translating SDM into clinical practice. These programs will be critically assessed and compared according to their strengths and limitations. We will use the empirical data that results from the environmental scan and the critical appraisal to identify knowledge gaps and generate a research agenda during a two-day workshop to be held in Quebec City. We will ask CPD stakeholders to validate these knowledge gaps and the research agenda.


This project will analyse existing CPD programs and related activities for translating SDM into the practice of primary care. Because this international collaboration will develop and identify various factors influencing SDM, the project could shed new light on how SDM is implemented in primary care.