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The Need for a Change Support With Shared Decision-Making in Healthcare


The analysis of current healthcare facilities shows that awareness on the part of nurses of shared decision-making practices determines the quality of patient-centered care. It is vital that nurses improve their skills and apply new models of communication with patients and their families. The need for change cannot be ignored; thus, this paper aims to discuss evidence from the literature demonstrating the existing background in terms of research on this topic.

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Summary of Original Research Articles

Hospitals offer different methods for improving the quality of care and supporting patients. Solberg et al. (2014) introduced shared decision-making as a significant component of patient-centered care in which collaboration between patients and their healthcare providers is based on the best scientific evidence and personal preferences. The statistical value of this article lies in the fact that older patients reported positively about shared decision-making only half as often as younger patients did (Solberg et al., 2014). The researchers discovered that significantly fewer decision-making practices were observed among men in comparison to women (Solberg et al., 2014). Therefore, any approach to improving care and promoting shared decision-making must be viewed through the prism of factors such as age and gender.

Härter et al. (2015) also discussed patient-physician collaboration, underlining the importance of partnership between these two parties and explaining that medical workers are required to take special programs and undertake trials to improve their understanding of shared decision-making in various settings. A joint decision is an outcome of increased confidence, thorough awareness, and making multiple treatment options available to patients. The practice of following special programs results in fewer cases of depression and anxiety among patients, especially among women (Härter et al., 2015). The researchers paid attention to the intensity and duration of lessons and concluded that flexibility and motivation are crucial in implementing shared decision-making models in patient-centered care settings.

The quality of health-care services depends on how well clinicians are prepared for their work as well as their ability to involve patients in discussing their health issues. Alegria et al. (2018) defined shared decision-making as a form of communication between patients and healthcare providers where all participants discuss conditions and share information.

The peculiar feature of this article is the implementation of the DECIDE model to increase the perception of care quality and the number of opportunities for patients in hospitals. This approach includes such steps as problem decision, question exploration, posing questions, problem identification, and result enjoyment (Alegria et al., 2018). Despite the small samples involved, all the chosen studies contribute to the discussion of shared decision-making in patient-centered care.

Summary of Current Guidelines

Although shared decision-making is frequently discussed in many modern healthcare facilities, a serious gap remains in the associated process and policies. While many clinical guidelines on how to treat patients or communicate with families are available, not all researchers discuss the peculiarities of shared decision-making as a separate process that aims at improving the quality of patient-centered care.

For example, the guidelines developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018) identified such important processes as the exposure of treatment options with all entailed risks and benefits to patients, the discussion of available choices, and decision-making that is reached by cooperation between health-care professionals and their patients. The policies reflect the value of receiving credible information, people’s support, informed choices, and recognition of needs.

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These guidelines help patients and clinicians understand how they should receive or deliver care, which includes sharing similar responsibilities and supporting each other. Collaboration is a crucial part of shared decision-making, and it is, therefore, necessary for people to work together to achieve the best healthcare outcomes in part by solving associated problems together.

Shared decision-making in clinical settings offers many benefits. Hoffmann et al. (2014) authored other clinical guidelines where this model of communication is defined as a consultation process with the possibility for physicians and patients to participate jointly in making health-related decisions. This type of intervention can be applied in different situations with various people regardless of gender, age, race, or religion. The main policy that the guidelines present is a relationship between shared decision-making and evidence-based practice (Hoffmann et al., 2014). Under this model, decision-making is to be guided based on five questions that define the outcomes in terms of waiting and watching, discussing treatment options, recognizing benefits, and evaluating information (Hoffmann et al., 2014).

Many patients remain unfamiliar with the practice under discussion. Therefore, one task for physicians and nurses involves not only explaining how to share information and make common decisions but making an effort to introduce this method of collaboration and evaluate all its pros and cons. Both guidelines support the role of patients and medical workers in improving health and well-being.


In general, evaluating original research articles and current guidelines on how to use shared decision-making models in patient-centered care helps in understanding several important rules. Nurses should never neglect the chance to involve patients and their families in discussing their treatment plans and future well-being. In this way, they will empower patients and increase levels of respect and trust. Finally, when patients know about their diseases and engage in conversation during nursing rounds, they are contributing to their health and will be more likely to make informed decisions.


Alegria, M., Nakash, O., Johnson, K., Ault-Brutus, A., Carson, N., Fillbrunn, M., … Shrout, P. E. (2018). Effectiveness of the DECIDE interventions on shared decision making and perceived quality of care in behavioral health with multicultural patients. JAMA Psychiatry, 75(4), 325. Web.

Härter, M., Buchholz, A., Nicolai, J., Reuter, K., Komarahadi, F., Kriston, L.,… Bieber, C. (2015). Shared decision making and the use of decision aids: A cluster-randomized study on the efficacy of a training in an oncology setting. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 112(40), 672-679. Web.

Hoffmann, T. C., Légaré, F., Simmons, M. B., McNamara, K., McCaffery, K., Trevena, L. J., … Del Mar, C. B. (2014). Shared decision making: What do clinicians need to know and why should they bother? The Medical Journal of Australia, 201(1), 35–39. Web.

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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2018). Shared decision making. Web.

Solberg, L. I., Crain, A. L., Rubenstein, L., Unutzer, J., Whitebird, R. R., & Beck, A. (2014). How much shared decision making occurs in usual primary care of depression? The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 27(2), 199–208. Web.

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