There’s been lots of interest
recently in the concept of shared decision making – and there’s plenty of
evidence that people who are actively involved in decisions about their health
care see the benefits. When people are well informed and engage with choosing
and planning their care both patients and health services benefit.
Our new range of interactive tools (www.aidsmap.com/apps)
aims to empower people living with HIV to get involved in their health care, at
key times including:
Shared decision making
The shared decision making process makes sure a patient’s knowledge of
how a health condition affects their daily life, their values, preferences and
personal attitude to risk, are taken into account alongside clinical expertise
when making decisions about treatment and care options.
Here at NAM,
we’ve always believed in the importance of people with HIV being able to take
control of their lives and their health care, in order to live longer,
healthier and happier lives. Through the provision of independent, clear and
accurate information, we arm people living with HIV with the latest evidence to
help them better understand and manage their HIV treatment, look after their
health, and discuss their care constructively with anyone involved in it.
In addition to examining the
latest news and opinion on treatment, care and other HIV-related issues, we
also spend time thinking about how to
present our information – we know that the way our resources look, how people find
them, and how easy they are to use and understand, are
just as important to making information useful as the actual content.
Shared decision making principles
provide a useful framework for thinking differently about our information
resources. There’s still a strong emphasis on basing information on the
best-possible scientific and medical evidence – something NAM has always championed. But it’s
just as important to take account of people’s individual circumstances and
preferences. It’s unusual in any branch of health care for there to be one
simple choice that will work equally well for everyone. That’s certainly true
in HIV treatment and care. And even where there is strong clinical evidence for
the benefit of a particular course of action, that doesn’t mean it will suit
New range of online tools
This way of thinking has
resulted in some new NAM
resources. We’ve worked closely with clinicians and people with HIV to develop
a range of interactive tools looking at key points in people’s HIV ‘journey’.
For example, do I need to start treatment? And do I feel ready to start
treatment? Or, how do I have a healthy baby?
By asking you for information
specific to your situation, these tools can help you think through choices and
see the options available to you. By providing tailored information, they’re a
great starting point for thinking through your choices. Or you could use them
to prepare for discussing an issue with your doctor. They can help you make the
best use of your appointment and help you contribute to any discussion about
Visit www.aidsmap.com/apps to see what’s
available and give shared decision making a go!
For more information
You can find out more about shared
decision making on the Patient
Information Forum website at www.pifonline.org.uk/topics-index/supporting/shared-decision-making/.
We’re always keen to hear
your views so please do let us know what you think of any or all of the new
resources. You can contact us on 020 3242 0820 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.