Implementing shared decision making in the UK.
Coulter A., Edwards A., Elwyn G., Thomson R.
WHAT ABOUT POLICY REGARDING SDM? SDM is on the national policy agenda and has been prioritised as part of the health reform bill currently going through the Houses of Parliament. The NHS Constitution emphasises patients' right to be involved in decisions and this is reinforced in standards set by professional regulators. WHAT ABOUT TOOLS - DECISION SUPPORT FOR PATIENTS? The UK governments have invested in patient information and a few decision aids are freely available on public websites. WHAT ABOUT PROFESSIONAL INTEREST AND IMPLEMENTATION? There is interest in SDM and in collaborative care planning, but this is not yet the norm in clinical practice and few clinicians have received training in the topic. Several programmes are under way to encourage implementation of SDM. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? Future developments will depend on the extent of clinical commitment and on whether there are sufficient funds available to invest in the promotion of SDM at a time when health care resources are tightly constrained.