Shared Decision-Making

What is shared-decision-making and why is it important?

Overuse of low-value healthcare and underuse of effective healthcare are deeply entrenched and both represent suboptimal care. Their drivers include: cognitive biases, poor communication, knowledge uncertainty, and structural and financial elements of health systems. Health systems are now striving to provide appropriate optimal, high-value care, which can be described as care that is patient-centred and where the benefits and harms are weighed up and informed by evidence. A key strategy to achieving this is shared decision making: a process which enables patients to make evidence-informed health decisions that are congruent with their values and preferences, after increasing the uptake of effective ones. It is a key component of most healthcare reform models and policies to emerge in recent years. Strategies that can be used to facilitate shared decision making include the use of patient decision aids, clinician training, and the integration of shared decision making tools into evidence syntheses such as guidelines.

Helping to facilitate shared decision-making

Research activities of the Centre for Evidence-Informed Health Decisions include the development and dissemination of patient decision aids and the development of online and interactive training courses in shared decision making. These courses enable clinicians of any discipline to complete an accredited training activity at a time and location that is convenient to them – thus overcoming some of the barriers to shared decision making uptake. The courses have been adopted by health organisations and various speciality colleges throughout Australia and the United Kingdom.


Videos on shared decision making and acute respiratory infection