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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2007 Summer;31(1):54-61.

Promoting the value and practice of shared decision-making in mental health care.

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  • 1Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD 20857, USA.


Active consumer participation is critical in contemporary mental health care and treatment planning and has been a staple of the field of psychiatric rehabilitation for the last three decades. Providing the opportunity for consumers to chose interventions that fit personal preferences and recovery increase the likelihood that these interventions will enhance personal meaning, satisfaction and quality of life (Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance Use Conditions, 2006). Similarly, self-determination and shared decision-making are critical components of recovery. As stated in the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Final Report, recovery from mental illnesses should be the expectation in mental health care with services and treatments that are consumer and family-driven. Mental health care should be planned and delivered to ensure that consumers and families with children with mental health problems receive real and meaningful choices about treatment options and providers. The purpose of this paper is to explore the value and use of shared decision-making in health and mental health care, briefly examine the advantages and disadvantages of shared decision making and propose next steps in advancing use of shared decision-making in mental health care.

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