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PLoS One. 2013 May 20;8(5):e64523. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064523. Print 2013.

Psychosocial factors of dietitians' intentions to adopt shared decision making behaviours: a cross-sectional survey.

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Research Centre, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.



While shared decision making (SDM) promotes health-related decisions that are informed, value-based and adhered to, few studies report on theory-based approaches to SDM adoption by healthcare professionals. We aimed to identify the factors influencing dietitians' intentions to adopt two SDM behaviours: 1) present dietary treatment options to patients and 2) help patients clarify their values and preferences.


We conducted a cross-sectional postal survey based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour among 428 randomly selected dietitians working in clinical practice across the Province of Quebec, Canada. We performed descriptive analyses and multiple regression analyses to determine the variables that explained the variance in intention to perform the behaviours.


A total of 203 dietitians completed the questionnaire. Their ages were from 23 to 66 and they had been practising dietetics for 15.4±11.1 years (mean ± SD). On a scale from 1 to 7 (from strongly disagree to strongly agree), dietitians' intentions to present dietary treatment options and to clarify their patients' values and preferences were 5.00±1.14 and 5.68±0.74, respectively. Perceived behavioural control (β = 0.56, ρ<0.0001), subjective norm (β = 0.16, ρ<0.05), and moral norm (β = 0.22, ρ<0.0001), were the factors significantly predicting the intention to present dietary treatment options, while perceived behavioural control (β = 0.60, ρ<0.0001), attitude (β = 0.20, ρ<0.05), and professional norm (β = 0.22, ρ<0.001), significantly predicted the intention to help patients' clarify their values and preferences.


Our results showed that dietitians intend to adopt the two SDM behaviours studied. Factors influencing intention were different for each behaviour, except for perceived behavioural control which was common to both behaviours. Thus, perceived behavioural control could be a key factor in interventions aiming to encourage implementation of SDM by dietitians.

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