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Professional centred shared decision making: Patient decision aids in practice in primary care

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Duika Burges WatsonORCiD, Emeritus Professor Richard Thomson, Professor Madeleine Murtagh



Background. Patient decision aids are increasingly regarded as important components of clinical practice that enable shared decision making (SDM) and evidence based patient choice. Despite broad acceptance of their value, there remains little evidence of their successful implementation in primary care settings. Methods. Health care practitioners from five general practice surgeries in northern England participated in focus group sessions around the themes of patient decision aids, patient and practitioner preferences and SDM. Participants included general practitioners (n = 19), practice nurses (n = 5) and auxiliary staff (n = 3). Transcripts were analysed using a framework approach. Results. We report a) practitioners' discussion of the current impetus towards sharing decisions and their perspectives on barriers to SDM, and b) the implementation of patient decision aids in practice and impediments such as lack of an evidence base and time available in consultations. Conclusion. We demonstrate two orientations to sharing decisions: practitioner-centred and patient-centred with the former predominating. We argue that it is necessary to rethink the changes required in practice for the implementation of SDM. © 2008 Burges Watson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burges Watson D, Thomson R, Murtagh M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Health Services Research

Year: 2008

Volume: 8

Pages: 5

ISSN (electronic): 1472-6963

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-8-5


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