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Shared Decision Making

Shared decision making is a collaborative process that encourages health care professionals and patients to make health care decisions together, taking into account scientific evidence as well patients’ needs and preferences. Shared decision making has been advocated as an approach to improve the quality of the patient communication process.1,2 In the context of diabetes care, a sound shared decision making approach first requires that health care professionals be informed of current treatment recommendations and that patients receive guidance when choosing treatment options.

Decision aids (e.g., brochures, booklets, videos) can be used to introduce evidence-based information about various therapy options and explain expected outcomes, risks, and benefits of each option to patients. Providing decisions aids to patients prior to an office visit or before making decisions can help ensure that they are prepared in advance to discuss questions and concerns with their health care team. Decision aids can also be used during the patient encounter to enhance patient-provider communication. In addition, decision aids can be made available through patient portals or online sites.

It is important to note that while shared decision making has been proven to be beneficial, there is limited evidence to support that it improves behavioral and clinical outcomes.3

You Can Do It

Primary and specialty care sites across the nation are implementing shared decision making in their care processes. Learn how these demonstration sites have innovatively applied shared decision making (PDF, 238 KB) to support patients in making informed disease management decisions.

Resources

References

1. Charles C, Gafni A, Whelan T. Decision-making in the physician-patient encounter: Revisiting the shared treatment decision-making model. Soc Sci Med. 1999;49(5):651-61.
2. Montori VM, Gafni A, Charles C. A shared treatment decision-making approach between patients with chronic conditions and their clinicians: the case of diabetes. Health Expect. 2006;9:25-36.
3. Shay LA, Lafata JE. Where is the evidence? A systematic review of shared decision making and patient outcomes. Med Decis Making. 2015;35(1):114-31.

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