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Factors influencing patients' preferences and perceived involvement in shared decision-making in mental health care.

Eliacin J, Salyers MP, Kukla M, Matthias MS. Factors influencing patients' preferences and perceived involvement in shared decision-making in mental health care. Journal of mental health (Abingdon, England). 2015 Feb 1; 24(1):24-8.

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BACKGROUND: Although research has suggested that patients desire to participate in shared decision-making, recent studies show that most patients take a passive role in their treatment decisions. The discrepancy between patients' expressed desire and actual behaviors underscores the need to better understand how patients perceive shared decision-making and what factors influence their participation. AIMS: To investigate patients' preferences and appraisals of their involvement in treatment decisions. METHODS: Fifty-four qualitative interviews were conducted with veterans receiving outpatient mental health care at a U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Participants outlined several factors that influence their preferences and involvement in treatment decisions. These include the patient-provider relationship, fear of being judged, perceived inadequacy, and a history of substance abuse. CONCLUSION: Patients' preferences and willingness to engage in shared decision-making fluctuate over time and are context dependent. A better understanding of these factors and a strong patient-provider relationship will facilitate better measurement and implementation of shared decision-making.

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