PCORI's Board of Governors today authorized up to $6.5 million in initial funding to support efforts to promote wider use of shared decision making strategies. Shared decision making is the process by which clinicians and patients consider available effective treatment options and the comparative evidence for risks and benefits of each, and then work together to choose which might work best for the patients.
This process is important because even when adequate evidence is available to support the effectiveness of two or more options, individual patients often have unique priorities and preferences that lead them to make different choices.
PCORI has always been committed to promoting shared decision making as a path to improving patient care and outcomes. The institute has made a significant investment in research related to shared decision making strategies and interventions to help patients, caregivers and clinicians work together to consider healthcare options.
This new initiative is an extension of that effort, focusing on putting into practice tested strategies that incorporate the latest evidence.
"PCORI recognizes that for many clinical situations, patients and clinicians need to work together to consider all available treatment options, informed by the patients' preferences," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. "For a variety of reasons, shared decision making isn't as widely used in practice as it should be. Figuring out how to address the barriers limiting its use and move these strategies into practice is important to us."
Under the new program, PCORI will consider applications to implement shared decision making based on the results of completed PCORI-funded projects. Such projects would include those that implement shared decision making approaches that were the focus of PCORI-funded comparative clinical effectiveness (CER) studies. They would also include projects that focus on findings from PCORI-funded studies of other interventions that are incorporated into tested shared decision-making strategies so that the evidence can support patients' choices.