What is shared decision-making and how does it work for allergists?

September 7, 2018, American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

If you and your doctor chat for a few minutes about treatment options for your allergy symptoms, is that considered shared decision-making (SDM)? It is not, according to a new article published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

"Although health care providers think they know what is involved, many aren't aware there are distinct elements which must be included to make it SDM," says allergist Michael Blaiss, MD, ACAAI Executive Medical Director and lead author of the article. "SDM is a collaborative process between the healthcare provider and the patient that takes place throughout the entire visit. It's also an ongoing discussion throughout the course of the provider/patient relationship."

According to the article, SDM is characterized by the absence of orders and interruptions, by the avoidance of medical jargon, and by using dialogue with open-ended questions. Both the patient and the healthcare provider are sources of information, bringing different, but equally important types of expertise to the decision-making process.

"SDM for has been shown to improve adherence and outcomes, as well as improve patient satisfaction with care," says allergist and SDM expert Eli Meltzer, MD, co-author of the article. "SDM is particularly important for any chronic diseases such as asthma and allergies which often require long-term, and potentially complicated or intensive treatments. Adherence to these treatments can be driven by patient characteristics and preferences, which cannot be fully explored without SDM."

The article acknowledges there are barriers to SDM including the perception by healthcare providers that SDM is too time-consuming. However, a review of studies on SDM showed that the median consultation time only increased 2.6 minutes when a patient decision aid was used.

"It's important for healthcare providers to understand that SDM is not interchangeable with informed consent in which patients are educated about options and asked if they agree to a treatment," says allergic diseases researcher Bruce Bender, Ph.D., co-author of the article. "SDM is also not simply providing patients with educational materials. If used properly, SDM can improve both the health of the patient, and the relationship between the patient and allergist."

ACAAI has introduced three new SDM patient decision aids for use by allergists with their patients. The tools walk through SDM for severe adult asthma for Atopic Dermatitis (commonly known as eczema) and for immunotherapy

Explore further: New asthma tool determines best treatment for severe asthma patients

Related Stories

New asthma tool determines best treatment for severe asthma patients

June 19, 2018
One in 12 adults and one in 11 children in the United States are living with asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The communication between patients and clinicians is an important factor ...

Older adults with asthma are happier when they have more say in their care

June 5, 2018
It's clear an increasing number of people want a say in their medical care. A new study shows older people with asthma are among those no longer content to say, "Up to you, Doc" and then wait to be told how to move forward ...

Clinicians need a clear definition of severe asthma for precise management

November 14, 2017
Those who treat patients suffering with severe asthma know how frustrating it can be to try to get the disease under control - despite the introduction in recent years of both biologics and bronchial thermoplasty. These treatments ...

Study shows painful eczema symptoms negatively impact quality of life

July 16, 2018
If you've never suffered from eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis, you probably aren't aware of the negative impact it can have on quality of life. The severe itching, redness and excessively dry skin all make life miserable ...

Asthma app helps control asthma: Alerts allergists when sufferers need assistance

May 13, 2015
The adage, "There's an app for that" is even more true in light of an app that sends an alert to your allergist's office when your asthma may be out of control.

Adolescents with hay fever have higher rates of anxiety and depression, lower resistance to stress

May 24, 2018
Although allergies affect more than 50 million Americans, they are occasionally misunderstood and can be seen as a minor condition. An article published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal ...

Recommended for you

Cancer immunotherapy might benefit from previously overlooked immune players

September 20, 2018
Cancer immunotherapy—efforts to boost a patient's own immune system, allowing it to better fight cancer cells on its own—has shown great promise for some previously intractable cancers. Yet immunotherapy doesn't work ...

Gut fungus exacerbates asthma in antibiotic-treated mice

September 20, 2018
A non-pathogenic fungus can expand in the intestines of antibiotic-treated mice and enhance the severity of allergic airways disease, according to a study published September 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by ...

Paracetamol use in infancy is linked to increased risk of asthma in some teenagers

September 17, 2018
Children who take paracetamol during their first two years of life may be at a higher risk of developing asthma by the age of 18, especially if they have a particular genetic makeup, according to new research presented at ...

Cord blood clue to respiratory diseases

September 15, 2018
New research has found children born in the last three months of the year in Melbourne may have a greater risk of developing respiratory diseases such as asthma.

FRESH program combines basic science with social benefits for women at risk of HIV

September 14, 2018
A program established by investigators from the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), MIT and Harvard is addressing the persistently elevated risk of HIV infection among young women in South Africa from ...

Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging

September 14, 2018
As mammals age, immune cells in the brain known as microglia become chronically inflamed. In this state, they produce chemicals known to impair cognitive and motor function. That's one explanation for why memory fades and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.