Shared decision making: What is the work?
2020 Dec 1;pii: S0738-3991(20)30656-X. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2020.11.032
Cooperation has emerged as a fundamental characteristic of human society, and many argue that this ability is the basis for the phenomenal development in our capability as a species. When we focus our attention to the interactions that occur in healthcare, we inevitably notice power asymmetry due to unequal knowledge, experience, and status. However, as many have argued since the 1970s, there is an ethical imperative to respect the agency of individuals, offer information, collaborate, and support deliberation when difficult decisions arise. This process is particularly important when reasonable alternative courses of action exist and where the priorities and preferences of individuals would be expected to sway such decisions. This position article argues that this process, commonly described as shared decision making, involves work that is cognitive, emotional, and relational, and, particularly if people are ill, should have the underpinning goal of restoring autonomy. It covers the origin of the term and describes the core components; it describes how to do the cognitive, emotional, and relational work that is required, and offers a model to guide the process.
Patient Educ Couns|2020 Dec 1