Shared Decision Making (SDM) is a process in which patients are encouraged by their health professional to participate in selecting the most appropriate health treatments or care management options for their individual needs and preferences. Not being properly informed about their illness and the options for treatment/management is the most common cause of patient dissatisfaction (Coulter & Cleary 2001). Most patients want more information and a greater say in decisions about how they will be treated.
We think Shared Decision Making can make an excellent contribution to improving the quality of UK Healthcare. People are more motivated to take advice and follow treatment plans when they understand the reasons and thinking behind their care, so treatment is more successful and they often recover quicker. With SDM Healthcare providers explain all the relevant treatments and alternatives to patients in order to provide enough information so that the patient can choose the treatment option that suits them best and works with their lifestyle and personal beliefs and values.
Ask 3 Questions
Research shows that encouraging patients to ask three simple questions leads clinicians to provide higher quality information about options and their benefits and harms.
- What are my options?
- What are the pros and cons of each option for me?
- How do I get support to help me make a decision that is right for me?