Shared Decision-making in Different Types of Decisions in Medical Specialist Consultations

Ellen M. Driever*, Anne M. Stiggelbout, Paul L. P. Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Backgrounds Research on shared decision-making (SDM) has mainly focused on decisions about treatment (e.g., medication or surgical procedures). Little is known about the decision-making process for the numerous other decisions in consultations. Objectives We assessed to what extent patients are actively involved in different decision types in medical specialist consultations and to what extent this was affected by medical specialist, patient, and consultation characteristics. Design Analysis of video-recorded encounters between medical specialists and patients at a large teaching hospital in the Netherlands. Participants Forty-one medical specialists (28 male) from 18 specialties, and 781 patients. Main Measure Two independent raters classified decisions in the consultations in decision type (main or other) and decision category (diagnostic tests, treatment, follow-up, or other advice) and assessed the decision-making behavior for each decision using the Observing Patient Involvement (OPTION)(5) instrument, ranging from 0 (no SDM) to 100 (optimal SDM). Scheduled and realized consultation duration were recorded. Key Result In the 727 consultations, the mean (SD) OPTION5 score for the main decision was higher (16.8 (17.1)) than that for the other decisions (5.4 (9.0), p < 0.001). The main decision OPTION5 scores for treatment decisions (n = 535, 19.2 (17.3)) were higher than those for decisions about diagnostic tests (n = 108, 14.6 (16.8)) or follow-up (n = 84, 3.8 (8.1), p < 0.001). This difference remained significant in multilevel analyses. Longer consultation duration was the only other factor significantly associated with higher OPTION5 scores (p < 0.001). Conclusion Most of the limited patient involvement was observed in main decisions (versus others) and in treatment decisions (versus diagnostic, follow-up, and advice). SDM was associated with longer consultations. Physicians' SDM training should help clinicians to tailor promotion of patient involvement in different types of decisions. Physicians and policy makers should allow sufficient consultation time to support the application of SDM in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Early online date17-Jan-2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17-Jan-2022

Keywords

  • shared decision-making
  • patient involvement
  • decision type
  • consultation time

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