Cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine are natural fields in which shared decision-making should be applied to achieve the highest quality of care, according to new data in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.
Shared decision-making (SDM) involves allowing the patient to take part in thinking and deciding what treatment options are best for them, along with their provider.
This goes beyond the traditional one-way method of informed consent.
The SDM method involves two parties, the health care professional and the patient, who share information and take steps to determine the preferred treatment until reaching an agreement.
One important aspect to consider is conveying awareness that the patient has a choice and can play a role in making it. Additionally, doctors must discuss treatment options with the patient and inform them of the pros and cons. Finally, patients should be encouraged to explore what they consider most important to themselves.
When SDM is utilized, patients may be more satisfied and compliant with the agreed upon treatment, and the litigation risk may decrease.
A common misconception of SDM is that it can extend the initial or decision-making consultation, according to researchers.
Graphic tools can help explain surgery risks and benefits, since many people are visually oriented. However, the researchers noted that few decision tools are available for use in cosmetic medicine and they should be developed to encourage SDM to grow in the field.
The researchers wrote that “SDM is a moral and ethical obligation to our patients.” – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosure: The authors reported no relevant financial disclosures.