Shared Decision Making for Successful Patient Engagement

Effective shared decision making promotes collaboration among the care team and can improve patient outcomes.

Effective patient engagement in clinical care contributes to improved outcomes, and this concept is being incorporated into current research and guidelines.  However, approaches to care are often determined without consideration of patients’ values and goals. The principal of shared decision making (SDM) promotes collaboration between clinician and patient among different clinical settings.

A conceptual SDM strategy for improving patient engagement in neurology was created by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, Maryland, and presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

The 3-step model for patient engagement was drafted following an assessment of the literature and review of patient engagement experience and neurology clinical practice.  The model was then presented to a patient advocacy group, following which a final iteration was created.

The steps involved in enhancing patient-centered care and ensuring meaningful patient involvement include identification of a patient’s values and goals, presentation of evidence-based care options most in line with those values and goals, and reaching the best clinical decision for a patient’s personal situation.

Patients are supported by clinicians, carepartners, and caregivers as they move from a state of clinical uncertainty to one of certainty. Resources to facilitate SDM include decision aids and clinical practice guidelines.

The developed model reflects the benefit of understanding patient preferences, aligning treatment with patient goals and values, and encouraging meaningful participation to result in a care decision that will be valued by the patient.

Click here for more coverage from the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, April 15-21, 2016, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


  1. Armstrong M, Vandigo J, Mullins D, Shulman L. Conceptual model of shared decision making and patient engagement in neurology.  Presented at: The 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology; April 15-21, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Poster P1.358.