This study, published in Health Expectations by Wiley Online Library, aimed to better understand how the family caregivers of those diagnosed with serious mental illness are currently involved in decision making, particularly decisions about treatment options including prescribed medication. Objectives of the study were to:
- Explore the extent to which family members wish to be involved in decisions about prescribed medication
- Determine how and when professionals engage family in these decisions
- Identify barriers and facilitators associated with the engagement of family in decisions about treatment.
Themes identified from the study included the definition of involvement and ‘rules of engagement’. Staff members are gatekeepers for family involvement, and the process is not democratic. Family and staff ascribe practical, rather than recovery-oriented roles to family, with pre-occupation around notions of adherence.
The study concluded that staff members need support, training and education to apply Shared decision making. Time to exchange information is vital but practically difficult. Negotiated teams, comprising of staff, service users, family, peers as applicable, with ascribed roles and responsibilities could support shared decision making.
Involved, inputting or informing: “Shared” decision making in adult mental health care.
Health Expect. 2017;00:1–9. https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.12601