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Patient Educ Couns. 2003 Jul;50(3):291-3.

General practitioners' views on shared decision making: a qualitative analysis.

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Department of General Practice and Primary Care, Guy's, King's, and St Thomas' School of Medicine, Kings College, London, UK.


Despite rhetoric about increasing partnership in the consultation, shared decision making (SDM) is not necessarily happening in practice. As patient involvement in decision making cannot be achieved without general practitioners' (GPs) co-operation, attention to their concerns is essential. Previous research has used simulated patients to explore this area. Here, data from consultations and interviews with patients and GPs were used in focus group discussions enabling GPs to ground their views of the practical application of SDM in their own and other participants' real life practice. The following ideas were discussed; what constitutes SDM in practice, negotiation about treatment, perceptions of patients' viewpoints and perceived barriers to SDM. Agreement with SDM in theory may not translate into practice. The process outlined is being developed in order to establish whether the techniques could provide a supportive environment in which GPs can make changes to their practice to increase patient participation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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