Shared Decision Making (SDM) is a collaborative process through which a clinician supports a patient to reach a decision about their treatment. The conversation brings together:
the clinician's expertise, such as treatment options, evidence, risks and benefits, and;
what patient knows best: their preferences, personal circumstances, goals, values and beliefs.
Why SDM is important
It encourages better decisions about health care.
In SDM two sources of equal expertise come together to enable better decisions – clinician and patient.
In SDM the patient's knowledge and preferences are taken into account, alongside the clinician's expertise.
The decisions the patient and clinician reach in agreement with each other are informed by evidence on effective treatment, care or support. This leads to better decisions and outcomes for both the patient and clinician.
As well as the clinical reasons to undertake Shared Decision Making, it is important from an ethical point of view to make sure that patients have unbiased and clear information on options, benefits and harms. It is the right thing to do.
Patient Decision Aids
Evidence shows that what makes SDM successful is the collaborative conversation and whilst the followowing patient decision aids alone will not achieve SDM they can help to support the process