Objective: This study aims to develop a conceptual model of patient-defined SDM, and understand what leads patients to label a specific, decision-making process as shared.
Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 23 primary care patients following a recent appointment. Patients were asked about the meaning of SDM and about specific decisions that they labeled as shared. Interviews were coded using qualitative content analysis.
Results: Patients' conceptual definition of SDM included four components of an interactive exchange prior to making the decision: both doctor and patient share information, both are open-minded and respectful, patient self-advocacy, and a personalized physician recommendation. Additionally, a long-term trusting relationship helps foster SDM. In contrast, when asked about a specific decision labeled as shared, patients described a range of interactions with the only commonality being that the two parties came to a mutually agreed-upon decision.
Conclusion: There is no one-size-fits all process that leads patients to label a decision as shared. Rather, the outcome of "agreement" may be more important than the actual decision-making process for patients to label a decision as shared.
Practice implications: Studies are needed to better understand how longitudinal communication between patient and physicians and patient self-advocacy behaviors affect patient perceptions of SDM.
Keywords: Patient perceptions; Primary care decision-making; Qualitative interviews; Shared decision making.
Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.