Shared decision-making (SDM) is a collaborative process by which patients and clinicians work together in a deliberative dialogue. The purpose of this dialogue is to identify reasonable management options that best fit and addresses the unique situation of the patient. SDM supports the patient-centered translation of research into practice. SDM also helps implement a core principle of evidence-based medicine: evidence is necessary but never sufficient to make a clinical decision, as consideration of patient values and context is also required. SDM conversations build on a partnership between the patient and the clinician, draw on the body of evidence with regard to the different treatment options, and consider options in light of the values, preferences, and context of the patient. SDM is appropriate for diabetes care because diabetes care often requires consideration of management options that differ in ways that matter to patients, such as the way in which they place significant demands on patient's life and living. In the last decade, SDM has proven feasible and useful for sharing evidence with patients and for involving patients in making decisions with their clinicians. Health care and clinical policies advocate SDM, but these policies have yet to impact diabetes care. In this paper, we describe what SDM is, its known impact on diabetes care, and needed work to implement this patient-centered approach in the care of the millions of patients with diabetes.
Keywords: Decision aids; Diabetes; Evidence-based medicine; Shared decision-making.