Increasingly, patients are faced with complex decisions. These decisions may have many options, uncertain outcomes, and benefits and harms that are valued differently by individuals. Shared decision-making (SDM) recognizes the importance of having patients and providers work together to select appropriate tests and treatments. Patients and providers bring different expertise to the decision. Providers are mainly responsible to assimilate and appropriately apply evidence-based information and to help patients to choose the course of action that best fits their values. Patients should communicate their preferences. Using SDM, well-informed patients and providers can determine which option best matches what is most important to patients – delivering high quality care that is both evidence-based and patient-centred.
Although SDM is a relevant model for the relationship between health professionals and patients, applying the principles of SDM seems to be difficult. Many barriers have been identified from the perspectives of professionals, patients and the organization and prevailing culture of health care. We have learned from studies that pushing clinicians to apply SDM is difficult. Should we put our efforts on empowering patients?
The International Shared Decision Making (ISDM) Conference 2011 will bring leading scientists, clinicians, and policy makers together to learn, discuss, and debate key issues about the ways to bridge the gap between research and practice. The theme of ISDM 2011 is Shared Decision Making. Bridging the gap between research and practice: patient pull or clinician push? Will we join the patient revolution? Should we rely on the patients’ pull to translate and implement SDM research into practice? Or should we push clinicians?
Under the overarching theme, any other aspects related to SDM are open for discussion, e.g.:
- The development and evaluation of decision aids
- Measurement of the concept of SDM
- Models for the implementation of SDM at different levels of the healthcare system
- SDM in different cultural settings
- The link between SDM and clinical practice guidelines.
- Normative and ethical aspects of SDM
- The working of the mind in decision making
The International Shared Decision Making (ISDM) Conference will be held in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The conference builds on the accomplishments of the five previous ISDM conferences held in Oxford, UK (2001), Swansea, UK (2003), Ottawa, CA (2005), Freiburg, GR (2007), and Boston, USA (2009). This scientific conference will be structured around plenary sessions, oral presentation in parallel sessions, workshops, poster sessions, as well as an exhibition of decision support materials.