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MDM Policy Pract. 2018 Dec 7;3(2):2381468318808503. doi: 10.1177/2381468318808503. eCollection 2018 Jul-Dec.

Designing Shared Decision-Making Interventions for Dissemination and Sustainment: Can Implementation Science Help Translate Shared Decision Making Into Routine Practice?

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Population Sciences Division, Center for Community-Based Research, Boston, MA.
Meyers Primary Care Institute, a joint Endeavor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Reliant Medical Group, and Fallon Health, Worcester, NA.
Dissemination and Implementation Science Program, Adult and Child Center for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO.
Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO.
VA Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Denver, CO.


Shared decision making (SDM) is not widely practiced in routine care due to a variety of organizational, provider, patient, and contextual factors. This article explores how implementation science-which encourages attention to the multilevel contextual factors that influence the adoption, implementation, and sustainment of health care practices-can provide useful insights for increasing SDM use in routine practice. We engaged with stakeholders representing different organizations and geographic locations over three phases: 1) multidisciplinary workgroup meeting comprising researchers and clinicians (n = 11); 2) survey among a purposive sample of 47 patient advocates, clinicians, health care system leaders, funders, policymakers, and researchers; and 3) working session among diverse stakeholders (n = 30). The workgroup meeting identified priorities for action and research, which included targeting multiple audiences and levels, shifting culture toward valuing and supporting SDM, and considering contextual factors influencing SDM implementation. Survey respondents provided recommendations for increasing adoption, implementation, and maintenance of SDM in practice including providing tools to support SDM, obtaining stakeholders' involvement, and raising awareness of the importance of SDM. Stakeholders in the working session provided recommendations on the design of a guide for implementation of SDM in clinical settings, strategies to disseminate educational curricula on SDM, and strategies to influence policies to increase SDM use. These specific recommendations serve as a call to action to pursuing specific promising strategies aimed at increasing SDM use in practice and enhance understanding of the perspectives of diverse stakeholders at multiple levels from an implementation science perspective that appear fruitful for further study and application.


implementation science; shared decision making

Conflict of interest statement

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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