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Shared Decision Making

Information about Shared Decision Making

There are some conditions, such as back pain, for which scientific evidence suggests that several treatment options provide similar outcomes, but with different side effects or risks. The premise of shared decision making is that, in these instances, the preferences of patients should play an important role in determining which treatment to undertake: treatment decisions should be shared between patient and provider.

To do so, patients must be fully informed about the treatment options, the risks and benefits, and the likely outcomes and side effects. Decision aids provide this information to patients for a number of preference-sensitive conditions. Preliminary data suggest that these decision aids can successfully facilitate conversations between providers and patients, fostering shared decision making.

Shared Decision Making Project Objectives

  • Support and document the implementation process of shared decision making programs in each of these organizations
  • Explore the perceptions of the parties central to implementation of SDM programs (provider organizations, purchasers, and payers)
  • Work with participating organizations, purchasers, and payers to assess the adequacy of current reimbursement mechanisms to provide financial incentives that support the use of SDM
  • Disseminate the experiences and findings of the demonstration