Varieties of Uncertainty in Healthcare

This article discusses the prevalence of uncertainty in healthcare, emphasizing the impact it has on evidence-based medicine, shared decision making, and patient-centered care. The authors argue that the lack of a unified concept of uncertainty in health has hindered our ability to understand its effects; to address this, the authors synthesize literature from communication, decision science, engineering, health services research, and psychology to propose a three-dimensional taxonomy of uncertainty in healthcare based on source, issue, and locus. The taxonomy is designed to provide a more organized approach to understanding and managing uncertainty in healthcare, offering insights into its nature, prognosis, analysis, and management strategies.

Han PK, Klein WM, Arora NK. Varieties of uncertainty in health care: a conceptual taxonomy. Med Decis Making. 2011 Nov-Dec;31(6):828-38. doi: 10.1177/0272989×11393976.