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Decide together

The patient and the doctor decide together
Decide together

In the past, the doctor determined the best treatment for a patient.

Now we know that it is better that the treatment also fits the life of the patient. This is called ‘decide together’ and has a number of clear advantages:

  1. The patient experiences more grip on what happens to him / her.
  2. The patient therefore has less chance of regretting the decision afterwards.
  3. The patient can better tolerate the treatment more often.

In short: decide together! In this concept, the patient is part of the team of caregivers and is not on the sidelines while the caregivers determine what is right for the patient.

You have to learn about thousands of diseases a patient tells the doctor. I just have to concentrate on MY illness. Which of us two is do you think the expert?

Deciding together consists of the following steps of shared decision-making (Stiggelbout, 2015):

  1. The healthcare provider informs the patient that a decision must be made and that the patient’s opinion is important: choice – there is something to choose.
  2. The care provider and patient together discuss the options and the advantages and disadvantages per option whereby ‘doing nothing’ is also an option: options – what are the options.
  3. The care provider and the patient together discuss the preferences of the patient and the care provider. The caregiver supports the patient in weighing and weighing in relation to what someone considers important in his / her life: getting to know the preference – unique patient.
  4. The care provider and the patient discuss which role the patient wants to play in the decision, take a decision or elaborate this decision and arrange for a follow-up interview: decision – integrating knowledge with values and patient preference.

The advice is to take a reflection time between these steps with the aim of handling emotions and choosing the best suitable treatment together.