At the core of Shared Decision Making is the belief that patients and their clinicians bring equally valuable input to the table when patients reach a decisions crossroads in their healthcare.
Clinicians know about the options available, while patients know what they want from their treatment, based on their particular circumstances, expectations and attitudes toward risk.
As part of the Shared Decision Making programme, 38 Patient Decision Aids (PDAs) are being created during 2012 and early 2013, designed to help patients understand and consider the pros and cons of possible treatment options and to encourage communication between them and their healthcare professionals.
These resources span a range of conditions, from rheumatoid arthritis and breast cancer, to multiple sclerosis and depression. Patients can work through the decision aids in their own time, alone or supported by family and friends, or by a team of specially trained telephone advisors.
The PDAs feature evidence-based information, images, diagrams and animations. They are also be available in paper format so they can be used in or outside the consultation.
Mobile Apps are also being developed so the information can be accessible anywhere.
Decision coaching is also a key part of this workstream. Healthcare advisors, all of whom are fully qualified nurses, have been trained to offer telephone support, developing patients’ confidence and skills in using the tools to deliberate their options.
This element of the programme is being delivered by Totally Health.