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Question 15: Does it provide support for shared decision-making?

What the question is about and why it is important

A good quality publication will raise issues for you to discuss with all those involved in your care about the best treatment choice for you. The information about a treatment choice or choices provided by the publication should enable you to prepare for a consultation with a health professional or to talk through issues that might affect your family, friends or carers regarding your treatment choices.

Rating the question

Consider the publication as a whole and decide whether it has enabled you to prepare a list of specific issues to consider and discuss concerning your treatment choices. These issues should be made clear throughout the publication, rather than merely being queries arising from its deficiencies and gaps. How high you rate the publication will depend on your judgement of how much it will support you in sharing decisions about treatment choices. If you do not wish to share in decision-making about your treatment, rate the publication from the point of view of a carer or relative who wants to know more about your treatment choices.

Guidelines for rating the question:

  • 5: Yes - the publication provides very good support for shared decision-making.

  • 2 - 4: Partially - the publication provides some support for shared decision-making.

  • 1: No - the publication does not provide any support for shared decision-making.


Issues to consider and discuss are usually presented at various points throughout the publication. Here are some simple examples:

5 rating:

‘You may want to know whether your treatment will work or whether you can stay well without treatment. Your partner or carer may also have a lot of concerns and questions about how they can help you and how your condition and treatment will affect them. Try to find out as much as you can about your treatment options and make a list of questions you want to ask your doctor.’

‘Treatment can last several years and you are advised not to get pregnant during this time. If you had planned to have a baby soon or are worried about contraception, you should talk to your doctor before you start treatment. If you have a partner, try to discuss these issues together with your doctor.’