Did You Get What You Wanted? Patient Satisfaction and Congruence Between Preferred and Perceived Roles in Medical Decision Making in a Hungarian National Survey



In a growing number of countries, patient involvement in medical decisions is considered a cornerstone of broader health policy agendas. This study seeks to explore public preferences for and experiences with participation in treatment decisions in Hungary.


A nationally representative online panel survey was conducted in 2019. Outcome measures included the Control Preferences Scale for the preferred and actual role in the decision, the 9-item Shared Decision Making Questionnaire, and a Satisfaction With Decision numeric rating scale.


A total of 1000 respondents participated in the study, 424 of whom reported having had a treatment decision in the preceding 6 months. Overall, 8%, 18%, 51%, 19%, and 4% of the population preferred an active, semiactive, shared, semipassive, and passive role in decision making, respectively. Corresponding rates for perceived role were as follows: 9%, 15%, 35%, 26%, and 15%. Preferred and perceived roles matched for 52% of the population, whereas 32% preferred more and 16% less participation. Better health status, attaining role congruence, and higher 9-item Shared Decision Making Questionnaire scores were positively associated with satisfaction, accounting for 32% of the variation in Satisfaction With Decision scores (P .05).


This study represents the first national survey on decisional roles in healthcare in Hungary and, more broadly, in Central and Eastern Europe. Shared decision making is the most preferred decisional role in Hungary; nevertheless, there is still room to improve patient involvement in decision making. It seems that patient satisfaction may be improved through tailoring the decisional role to reflect patients’ preferences and through practices that encourage shared decision making.


Fanni Rencz Béla Tamási Valentin Brodszky Gábor Ruzsa László Gulácsi Márta Péntek

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