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Anaesthesia. 2013 Jul;68(7):713-22. doi: 10.1111/anae.12196. Epub 2013 May 8.

Implementation of shared decision making in anaesthesia and its influence on patient satisfaction.

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Head of Department of Anaesthesia, Spitalregion Rheintal Werdenberg Sarganserland, Grabs, Switzerland.


There is a lack of data about the implementation of shared decision making in anaesthesia. To assess patients' preference to be involved in medical decision making and its influence on patient satisfaction, we studied 197 matched pairs (patients and anaesthetists) using two previously validated questionnaires. Before surgery, patients had to decide between general vs regional anaesthesia and, where appropriate, between conventional postoperative pain therapy vs catheter techniques. One hundred and eighty-six patients (94%) wished to be involved in shared decision making. One hundred and twenty-two patients (62%) experienced the exact amount of shared decision making that they wanted; 44 (22%) were slightly more involved and 20 (10%) slightly less involved in shared decision making than they desired. Preferences regarding involvement in shared decision making were similar between patients and anaesthetists with mean (SD) points of 54.1 (16.2) vs 56.4 (27.6) (p=0.244), respectively on a 0-100 scale; however, patients were found to have a stronger preference for a totally balanced shared decision-making process (65% vs 32%). Overall patient satisfaction was high: 88% were very satisfied and 12% satisfied with a mean (SD) value of 96.1 (10.6) on a 0-100 scale. Shared decision making is important for providing high levels of patient satisfaction.

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