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Shared Decision Making

The Significance of Shared Decision Making

Most people want to be involved in decisions about their health care. But patients, their families, and their clinicians don’t always know the best ways to discuss topics such as the possible trade-offs in choosing treatments or patients’ personal preferences.

Shared decision making addresses these concerns. In shared decision making, patients and clinicians discuss diagnostic or treatment options, including their effectiveness and their potential benefits and harms, in ways that are designed to be easier for patients to understand. Patients are prompted to think about and communicate their preferences regarding treatment outcomes and other issues of importance to them. Clinicians and patients then decide on the care plan that makes the most sense given the patients’ preferences.

Research has found that shared decision making can increase patients’ satisfaction, result in changes to the care they receive, and improve their health outcomes.

Topic Spotlight

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PCORI has funded 55 comparative clinical effectiveness research studies related to shared decision making. (As of February 2022)

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PCORI has awarded $128 million in funding for comparative clinical effectiveness research studies related to shared decision making. (As of February 2022)

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PCORI has funded seven implementation projects that seek to integrate effective shared decision making approaches in healthcare settings and help patients and their clinicians make choices that are best for them. (As of February 2022)

Research Study Results that Support Better-Informed Decisions

Shared Decision Making Research Study Spotlights

2019 PCORI Annual Meeting

The 2019 meeting included a plenary session on the uptake of research results in real-world clinical practice settings, and a breakout session with examples of shared decision making and how shared decision making includes evaluation of options based on care goals, concerns, and personal context of individual.