A Netherlands study has found that patients and professionals think knowledge, information provision and a good relationship are the most important things needed to support shared decision-making. Patients cannot truly share in decisions if they are not provided with appropriate information and encouragement to take part.
Researchers from the Netherlands examined the most important factors for implementing shared decision-making in sciatica care. Two hundred and forty-six GPs, physical therapists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons and 155 patients were surveyed online, ranking potential barriers and facilitators to implementation.
Patients thought the most important barriers and facilitators for shared decision-making were having a correct diagnosis by professionals, adequate information provision about treatment options and potential harm and benefits and explanations about the care pathway.
Professionals thought the most important barriers and facilitators were the quality of the relationship between patients and professionals, the importance of quick recovery and knowledge about treatment options. Primary care professionals had different views to hospital staff.
The study also demonstrates that the ranking of factors is an important step to determine which factors are the most important for which group of people, and thus on which factors an implementation strategy should be based.
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Most Important Factors for the Implementation of Shared Decision Making in Sciatica Care: Ranking among Professionals and Patients, Stefanie N. Hofstede, Leti van Bodegom-Vos, Manon M. Wentink, Carmen L. A. Vleggeert-Lankamp, Thea P. M. Vliet Vlieland, Perla J. Marang-van de Mheen, PLoS One. 2014; 9(4): e94176.
Published online Apr 7, 2014. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094176