How we can make shared decision making happen – preparing professionals

Shared decision making is not just about ensuring the patient is involved in decisions about their care. It is also about making sure the decision reached is a good one.

A good decision is one that is:

  • approached systematically
  • based on reliable, evidence based information
  • and where time is allowed to consider all the options carefully.

AQuA’s ‘Choice Option Decision (COD) model provides a useful structure to create meaningful and deliberate decision-making.

Commissioners need to support providers to develop pathways that include opportunities for these conversations and healthcare professionals need support to develop their skills in using this approach.

Although it is important to understand where opportunities for shared decisions lie, much of the change required is in attitude and general approach to conversations. Professionals need to think about how they have a clear discussion with patients about the evidence for each treatment option and the associated risks, as well as how they take account of patient preferences.