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Can shared decision making address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy?
  1. Marie-Anne Durand1,2,3,
  2. Peter Scalia4,
  3. Glyn Elwyn4
  1. 1 Centre d'Epidémiologie et de Recherche en santé des Populations, UMR 1295, Universite Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
  2. 2 Unisanté, Centre universitaire de médecine générale et santé publique, Lausanne, Switzerland
  3. 3 The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Dartmouth College, Lebanon, NH, USA
  4. 4 Coproduction Laboratory, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marie-Anne Durand, Centre d'Epidémiologie et de Recherche en santé des Populations, UMR 1295, Universite Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, Toulouse 31062, Occitanie, France; marie-anne.durand{at}

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect millions of people worldwide. While hygiene, behavioural measures and government-driven restrictions are in place, a globally implemented vaccination programme shows promise at mitigating the levels of illness and mortality caused by the virus.1

The exceptional magnitude of the pandemic, combined with the unprecedented speed of vaccine development has caused difficulty ensuring that information is neutral, standardised, coherent and evidence-based.2 As a result, misinformation about the virus and the COVID-19 vaccine, often combined with conspiracy theories, has become a major threat to uptake.3–5 A recent study about COVID-19 misinformation in national samples across five countries showed that misinformation negatively affected people’s self-reported compliance with public health recommendations and reduced people’s willingness to get vaccinated and recommend the vaccine to others.3 Misinformation increases vaccine hesitancy and threatens cooperation with vaccination programmes. Vaccine hesitancy designates the ‘delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services’.6 Ensuring easy access to high quality evidence-based information about the potential harms and benefits of vaccination would increase knowledge. This in turn could help create better dialogue with healthcare professionals, minimise vaccine hesitancy and promote informed choice.

Potential of shared decision making

Shared decision making is an approach where health professionals, patients and caregivers share available evidence-based information while exploring the patient’s values and priorities to achieve informed preferences.7 It typically includes three elements: providing information, supporting deliberation and exploring patient preferences to form an informed choice.7 8 This process may or may not be supported by a patient decision aid; a patient-facing, evidence-based intervention proven to improve decision …

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  • Contributors M-AD drafted this editorial, supported by PS and GE who edited and improved the content. All authors approved the final draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests GE and M-AD have developed the Option Grid patient decision aids, which are licensed to EBSCO Health. They receive consulting income from EBSCO Health and royalties. No other competing interests to declare.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.