Shared decision making in Australia in 2011

Kirsten J. McCaffery, Sian Smith, Heather L. Shepherd, Ming Sze, Haryana Dhillon, Jesse Jansen, Ilona Juraskova, Phyllis N. Butow, Lyndal Trevena, Karen Carey, Martin H.N. Tattersall, Alexandra Barratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)


The paper describes the current position of shared decision making (SDM) within the Australian healthcare system. SDM policy in Australia: Support for SDM exists through guidelines and policy documents, and is strongly endorsed by consumer organisations; however, there is no clear overarching policy framework for SDM in Australia. Tools for SDM: There are limited tools available for SDM in clinical practice. Access to tools exists through some Australian health research and consumer organisation websites but the use of tools remains idiosyncratic. Implementation of SDM: Comparatively little has been achieved in the implementation of SDM in Australia. Although there is wide recognition that consumer involvement in health decisions is important, provision of resources and infrastructure to achieve it is limited, and there is no clear strategy to support implementation within the healthcare system. SDM in the future: Current reforms to the healthcare system may enable a more centralised approach to implementation of SDM in the future. A new federally funded consumer health information organisation may assist by providing a central point through which SDM interventions may be made available to the Australian public and the Australian Charter of Rights has the potential to provide a national framework for consumer involvement. However, priority needs to be given to SDM by both federal and state governments with greater investment in SDM research and in activities to support implementation in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-239
Number of pages6
JournalZeitschrift fur Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitat im Gesundheitswesen
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Australia
  • consumer participation
  • implementation of shared decision making
  • patient participation
  • Shared decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Health Policy


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