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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2009;11(4):455-63.

Shared decision making in mental health: prospects for personalized medicine.

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  • 1Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03766, USA.


This paper describes the shared decision-making model, reviews its current status in the mental health field, and discusses its potential impact on personalized medicine. Shared decision making denotes a structured process that encourages full participation by patient and provider. Current research shows that shared decision making can improve the participation of mental health patients and the quality of decisions in terms of knowledge and values. The impact of shared decision making on adherence, illness self-management, and health outcomes remains to be studied. Implementing shared decision making broadly will require re-engineering the flow of clinical care in routine practice settings and much greater use of information technology. Similar changes will be needed to combine genomic and other biological data with patients' values and preferences and with clinicians' expertise. The future of personalized medicine is clearly linked with our ability to create the infrastructure and cultural receptivity to these changes.

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