What might the ideas in this website look like for you?

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An illustration of shared decision-making

Dialogue between doctor and patient and some questions to ask (click to enlarge).

Although no two consultations are identical, the guiding principles for how to arrive at the best possible decision, as set out in this website, are the same.

The goal is that both patient and health professional leave the consultation feeling satisfied that they have worked things through together in the light of the best available relevant evidence.

Patients consult their doctors with a wide range of health problems – some short term; some long-term; some life-threatening; others just ‘troublesome’. Their personal circumstances will be infinitely variable, but they will all have questions that need to be addressed so that they can decide what to do.

To illustrate this, we begin with a consultation between patient and doctor concerning a common problem: osteoarthritis (‘wear and tear’ arthritis) of the knees. We then go on to address some fundamental questions about using research evidence to inform practice – questions that patients with a wide variety of conditions might want answered when they consult a health professional, and those that readers of this book might well pose after reading earlier chapters.

NextShared decision making: a consultation for a common condition