Shared decision-making: patients’ experiences

Today, a new section has been added to about shared decision making between health professionals and patients. This new section is based on an extensive analysis of patient interviews across thirty of the conditions already available on The research shows that there is a wide variation in the extent to which patients with a variety of long-term or life-threatening illnesses wish to be involved in decisions about their treatment.

The site is intended to help both patients and health professionals better understand the different types of relationships that they might share. Sue Ziebland, Research Director and leader of this project, said, ‘Doctors and other health professionals could learn a lot about how patients want to be involved in decisions by looking at this site, which also demonstrates what might sometimes go wrong when the patient is not given the opportunity to be involved’.

The research was funded by the Department of Health through its Patient and Service User Engagement Team. Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health said he was ‘pleased to have supported the development of a new shared decision-making element of the excellent Healthtalkonline website’.