Patient and visitor information

What is shared decision making?

Making decisions together is often termed shared decision making. Shared decision making is appropriate if more than one treatment option exists. For example, choosing between different types of treatment or different ways of managing your condition. The right option for you depends on what is important to you.

In shared decision making it is important to consider the following things:

What are my options?

Is this something you can consider for a while or does a decision have to be made as a matter of urgency?

Not all options will be available to all patients – this depends on your medical history and other  problems you may have. So ask about options specifically for you.

What are the possible risks and benefits?

All treatments have pros and cons and it is important you understand these when making a  decision.

How can we make a decision together that is right for me? 

You need to consider how the different treatments and their side effects will affect what is  important to you and your family.

The healthcare professional will be able to advise you of the treatments available but may not  be aware of your preferences or specifically the options most likely to meet your preferences. It  is therefore important that you come to a decision together.

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