Shared Decision Making

Shared decision making is a process in which clinicians and patients work together to make decisions and select tests, treatments and care plans. It places equal value on the priorities, values and preferences of the patient, and the expert knowledge of the health care professional.

It is a move away from a paternalistic approach and informed decision making.

Benefits of shared decision making include:

  • Increased patient involvement and engagement and
  • Improved adherence to treatment
  • Less anxiety about the care process
  • Increased satisfaction about treatment outcomes 

Patient Decision Aids are specifically designed resources which help patients make difficult decisions about healthcare options.  One example is the NHS Shared Decision App.