Shared Decision Making (SDM)

Shared Decision Making (SDM) is the conversation that happens between a patient and their health professional to reach a healthcare choice together. This conversation needs patients and professionals to understand what is important to the other person when choosing a treatment.

People living with a long term condition such as asthma, diabetes, respiratory problems, and kidney disease live with these conditions spending very few of their hours in contact with the health service. People need to effectively self-manage and live with their condition enabling them to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life for as long as possible, without unnecessary or crisis interventions by the health service.



Shared Decision Making should involve everyone

AQuA is looking for members, be they health professionals, patients, managers or other interested parties who want to find out more and be champions for the programme as well as members who would like to improve how they use Shared Decision Making with their patients. We are also looking for patient groups and advocates who wish to support patients in starting to use Shared Decision Making.

We offer a range of products in relation to Shared Decision Making, supporting individuals and teams of healthcare professionals to make sure they are consistently working in partnership with their patients. These products include training in the Shared Decision Making tools  and techniques, Motivational Interviewing, the AQuA Ask 3 Questions patient resources, agenda setting tool. We also incorporate Quality Improvement approaches and Human Factors training into all our support.

e-learning for SDM

As an introduction to Shared Decision Making this e-learning resource provides guidance on what SDM is and how to implement it in practice. It also provides resources to help health professionals learn the required skills.

The e-learning sessions include films to illustrate examples of good and bad consultations and prompts, along with resources to aid health professionals with their work. 



Final Report on the 2013/14 SDM and SMS Collaborative



Your Health - Your Decision Evaluation Report


Case Studies

Shared Decision Making


Reducing Harm in Transition



Jane Hardiman-Smith Story - Ask 3 Questions

Jim's Story - Ask 3 Questions

Your Health, Your Decision - Ask 3 Questions

Gabe's Story - Ask 3 Questions

Penny's Story - Ask 3 Questions


Jane's Expecting Story - Ask 3 Questions

Bernie's Story - Ask 3 Questions

Policy links