Shared decision-making


  • professional and regulatory bodies expect clinicians to work in partnership with patients – an ‘ethical imperative’ (Coulter, A. and Collins, A. (2011)
  • patients who actively participate in managing their own health, and making decisions about their own health care have better outcomes

Support; inform; describe; ensure

  • support patients to understand and articulate what they want to achieve; preferred outcomes; goals
  • support patients to understand and articulate their understanding about their conditions
  • inform patients about their condition, treatment options and relative benefits
  • support patients to understand and articulate their own concepts of risk/harm
  • describe what is know about risks/harm associated with options
  • ensure that patients and clinicians arrive at a decision based on mutual understanding of this information

Decision-making and mental capacity

  • Adults who have capacity retain the right to make their own decisions and to direct their own lives.
  • Adults lacking capacity to make decisions, though their retain the right to be involved in decision-making as far as possible, nevertheless require decisions to be made on tier own behalf, in their best interests


  • Coulter A, Collins A (2011) Making shared decision-making a reality. No decision about me, without me. The King’s Fund, Foundation for Informed Decision-Making p.vii. View this document
  • British Medical Association (2011) Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults – A tool kit for General Practitioners, p18. View this document

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *