Shared decision-making across the specialties: Much potential but many challenges.
Kalsi D., Ward J., Lee R., Fulford K., Handa A.
Shared decision-making (SDM) is a collaborative process through which patients and clinicians work together to arrive at a mutually agreed-upon treatment plan. The use of SDM has gathered momentum, with it being legally mandated in some areas; however, despite being a ubiquitously applicable intervention, its maturity in use varies across the specialties and requires an appreciation of the nuanced and different challenges they each present. It is therefore our aim in this paper to review the current and potential use of SDM across a wide variety of specialties in order to understand its value and the challenges in its implementation. The specialties we consider are Primary Care, Mental Health, Paediatrics, Palliative Care, Medicine, and Surgery. SDM has been demonstrated to improve decision quality in many scenarios across all of these specialties. There are, however, many challenges to its successful implementation, including the need for high-quality decision aids, cultural shift, and adequate training. SDM represents a paradigm shift towards more patient-centred care but must be implemented with continued people centricity in order to realize its full potential.