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Patient's perception of autonomy support and shared decision making in physical therapy

A selection of abstracts of clinically relevant papers from other journals. The abstracts on this page have been chosen and edited by John R. Radford.


There was a stronger link between shared decision making and autonomy in older compared with younger people, possibly because older people are more comfortable with a less active role in the consent process.


Devisch I, Dierckx K et al. Open J Prev Med 2015;5: 387–399

At the heart of 'shared decision making', the therapist and patient are equals in the process of consent. The aim of this study, although counterintuitive, was to ascertain whether or not shared decision making encourages patient autonomy. In the field of conventional medicine, it is asserted that 'autonomy support is related to various clinical benefits... such as increased or improved patient satisfaction, health outcomes and patient compliance.' Shared decision making was assessed using a method involving, in addition, visible and audible elements of communication between the therapist and patient. Autonomy was assessed using a questionnaire based on self-determination theory. The investigators report a 'relationship between SDM (shared decision making) and autonomy'. Although the intervention in this study was 'physical activity', shared decision making may be particularly apposite in the delivery of dental care, as shaping of life-style has a central and ever increasing role for a dental care professional.

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Patient's perception of autonomy support and shared decision making in physical therapy. Br Dent J 220, 57 (2016).

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