Health, communication and decision making

Aims & scope

In the last decades the focus of decision making about health and illness is gradually shifting from the health professionals towards patients and health consumers themselves. Societal changes as well as the tremendous increase in information about health and diseases on the internet have fostered this development.  Health care users are expected to acquire information and make their own choices in accord with their own preferences. These choices pertain to screening decisions about genetic abnormalities in one’s (unborn) child, to choosing for healthy behaviour, to deciding about a health care provider or treatment, as well as planning the last phase of one’s life. Research within this theme is on a wide variety of decisions spanning the whole life cycle and relates to decisions in prevention, cure and care both at the individual level and the level of governance of health care and screening programmes  Research aims to improve the quality of information about e.g. health risk information and treatments and to improve the communication and decision making of patients and doctors for treatment decisions in order to enable health care consumers and patients to have the role in the decision making process that they want and with that to improve quality and efficiency of care.