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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/946

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Title: When the business of sharing treatment decisions is not the same as shared decision making: a discourse analysis of decision sharing in general practice
Authors: Robertson, Maggie
Moir, James
Skelton, John
Dowell, Jon
Cowan, Sue
Affiliation: University of Abertay Dundee. School of Social & Health Sciences
Keywords: Discourse analysis
Doctor-patient interaction
General practice
Health care communication
Shared decision making
Issue Date: Jan-2011
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Type: Journal Article
Refereed: peer-reviewed
Rights: Published version (c)SAGE Publications, available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363459309360788
Citation: Robertson, M., et al. 2011. When the business of sharing treatment decisions is not the same as shared decision making: a discourse analysis of decision sharing in general practice. Health: an Interdiscliplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. 15(1): pp.78-95. Available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363459309360788
Abstract: Although shared decision making (SDM) in general practice continues to be promoted as a highly desirable means of conducting consultations it is rarely observed in practice. The aim of this study is to identify the discursive features and conversational strategies particular to the negotiation and sharing of treatment decisions in order to understand why SDM is not yet embedded into routine practice. Consultations from Scottish general practices were examined using discourse analysis. Two themes were identified as key components for when the doctor and the patient were intent on sharing decisions: the generation of patient involvement using first-person pronouns, and successful and unsuccessful patient requesting practices. This article identifies a number of conversational activities found to be successful in supporting doctors’ agendas and reducing their responsibility for decisions made. Doctor’s use of ‘partnership talk’ was found to minimize resistance and worked to invite consensus rather than involvement. The information from this study provides new insight into the consultation process by identifying how treatment decisions are arrived at through highlighting the complexities involved. Notably, shared decision making does not happen with the ease implied by current models and appears to work to maintain a biomedical ‘GP as expert’ approach rather than one in which the patient is truly involved in partnership. We suggest that further research on the impact of conversational activities is likely to benefit our understanding of shared decision making and hence training in and the practice of SDM.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/946
ISSN: 1461-7196
Appears in Collections:Social & Health Sciences Collection

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