No decision about me without me: consent and shared decision-making #physiotalk 23 January 2017

v2Patients should be at the heart of everything we do as physiotherapists, involving people fully in their own healthcare and making sure that decisions are made in partnership: “no decision about me, without me”.

For our second tweetchat of 2017, on Monday 23rd January at 8pm UK time, we’ll be discussing patient centred-care through informed consent and shared decision making.

Consent and shared decision making

Informed consent is a fundamental principle and right of healthcare. It refers to the process by which a patient and healthcare practitioner talk about a proposed assessment or treatment, consequences, harms, benefits, risks, and alternatives (Obtaining Informed Consent From Patients: Brief Update Review).

HCPC standards of conduct, performance and ethics state that: You must make sure that you have consent from service users or other appropriate authority before you provide care, treatment or other services.

Shared decision making takes informed consent a step further, giving patients more information, control and responsibility. It is the conversation that happens between a patient and their health professional in order to reach a healthcare decision and choice together. This type of conversation needs both patients and professionals to understand what is important to the other person when choosing a treatment (NHS Right Care). It can also make use of decision aids to support conversations and decisions.

Useful resources

Questions to think about before the tweetchat:

  1. How do informed consent and shared decision-making differ and overlap?
  2. What specific issues around consent do we need to think about in physiotherapy? For example, in outpatient settings is consent implied by the fact that the person turns up, and what does that cover? For what assessments/interventions do we need specific consent? In what/are there any situations would verbal consent not be enough?
  3. Has shared decision making been widely adopted by physiotherapists?
  4. What are the barriers and facilitators to implementing shared decision making in physiotherapy services? What are the opportunities?
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