Firstly, this works much better when people are prepared. If there’s any information that can be shared ahead of the conversation, this is most helpful and helps when people are trying to take in information and make decisions at the same time. Inviting someone to accompany the person can be helpful.

Sometimes it may be appropriate to send test results in advance and it’s also useful to encourage people to think about questions in advance, e.g. the BRAN mnemonic:

• What are the Benefits of this test or procedure?
• Are there any Risks or side-effects?
• Are there any Alternatives?
• What would happen if I did Nothing?

People could also be invited to record the conversation on their own mobile device, to help with recall of the conversation.

There are two useful (and similar) models for structuring a shared decision-making conversation.

We are advocating the DECIDE approach. The other commonly used approach is the ‘3 talk model: Team Talk, Option talk, Decision talk’. They are closely linked.

Source: Guo, Kristina L. PhD, MPH. DECIDE: A Decision-Making Model for More Effective Decision Making by Health Care Managers. The Health Care Manager 39(3):p 133-141, 7/9 2020. Available at: DOI:10.1097/HCM.0000000000000299 

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This is linked to the pillar for shared decision making.

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 31/03/2023

Next review date: 31/03/2024

Reviewer name(s): Ali Raza, Malcolm Watson.