This report brings together evidence and provides an up-to-date single reference point for the current state of knowledge about shared decision making. This evidence shows that shared decision making improves patient’s satisfaction, involvement in their care and knowledge of their condition.
Together with Helping people help themselves, the Health Foundation’s May 2011 review of the evidence on supporting self-management, the review highlights the need for approaches that support patients to have the confidence, information and support to participate in decisions about their health and healthcare. The report also shows that policy statements alone will not put shared decision making into practice – active steps are needed to change the behaviour of both healthcare professionals and patients.
In drawing together the evidence on shared decision making, and whether it can improve patient outcomes or lead to a more effective allocation of resources, the report highlights gaps in current knowledge. It finds that there is no common definition of shared decision making, creating significant challenges in understanding and replicating benefits and drawing conclusions across multiple studies.