Commentary | Volume 16 Number 1: 0 | 22 Mar 2021

Practising shared decision making in primary care


Making healthcare decisions collaboratively between patients and doctors can be challenging in primary care, as clinical encounters are often short. Conflicts between patients and doctors during the decision-making process may affect both patient and doctor satisfaction and result in medicolegal consequences. With the increasing recognition of the importance of patient empowerment, shared decision making (SDM) can serve as a practical consultation model for primary care doctors (PCDs) to guide patients in making informed healthcare choices. Although more research is needed to find effective ways to implement SDM in the real world, the 6-step approach presented in this paper can guide PCDs to practise SDM in their daily practice. Implementation of SDM can be further enhanced by incorporating SDM training into undergraduate and postgraduate curricula and using evidence-based tools such as patient decision aids.