Shared decision making, a buzz-word in the Netherlands, the pace quickens towards nationwide implementation ...

Trudy van der Weijden*, Heleen Post, Paul L. P. Brand, Haske van Veenendaal, Ton Drenthen, Linda A. J. van Mierlo, Peep Stalmeier, Olga C. Damman, Anne Stiggelbout

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Currently, shared decision making (SDM) is on the agenda among target patient representative groups, policy makers and professional bodies. Although the International Conference for Shared Decision Making (ISDM) 2011 generated a positive boost, hesitation was also felt among Dutch clinicians, who are challenged by many new tasks. No hesitation is seen among the majority of patients, opting mostly for the SDM model. We haven't reached these patients' needs fully yet, given disappointing research data on patients' experiences and professional behaviour.

There is plenty of room for improvement in daily practice, for which many best practices are being designed and increasingly implemented, such as national campaigns to empower patients, central governance of patient decision aids that are developed along clinical practice guidelines, postgraduate training, collaborative learning and system changes, and merging goal setting and SDM in complex care. This is explicitly supported by the Dutch government, the Ministry of Health, patient groups, professional bodies and health insurers. The culture shift in the minds and hearts of patients and clinicians has started but is still ongoing. Enthusiasm for this way of working could be undermined if SDM is defined and implemented in a simplistic, dogmatic manner leading to irresponsible transferring of the professionals' uncertainty, responsibility, and decisional stress to patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalZeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • shared decision making
  • patient participation
  • patient decision aids
  • implementation
  • CARE
  • AID


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