Shared decision making in pharmacotherapy decisions, perceived by patients with bipolar disorder

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Background: Shared decision making has been promoted as standard care, but there has been debate on the possible types. On the one hand, there is a more ‘instrumental’/objective approach focused on the exchange of information, but an ‘interpersonal’/subjective patient involvement has been suggested as well. In this study we aim to investigate this further by assessing both actual and perceived patient involvement in medical decisions. Methods: Eighty-one consultations between patients with bipolar disorder and their clinicians were observed and scored using the OPTION scale. Afterwards, the patients’ experienced involvement was explored with the SDM-Q-9. Furthermore, several patient characteristics were gathered. Correlations between the scores were examined. Results: The clinicians scored on average 34.6 points on the OPTION scale. In contrast, patients scored on average 77.5 points on the SDM-Q-9, suggesting that patients felt more involved in the consultation than was observable. Conclusion: Our patients with bipolar disorder feel involved in pharmacotherapy decisions, but this is not scored in objective observations. Our data suggest that there are implicit, interpersonal aspects of patient involvement in shared decision making, a concept that deserves further attention and conceptualisation.




Verwijmeren, D., & Grootens, K. P. (2018). Shared decision making in pharmacotherapy decisions, perceived by patients with bipolar disorder. International Journal of Bipolar Disorders, 6(1).

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