A novel training program aimed at educating rheumatologists in shared decision-making showed positive results when evaluated in a small physician sample, according to study findings published in The Journal of Rheumatology.

Researchers developed a personalized shared decision-making training program that was designed to have particular emphasis on patient preferences during shared decision-making with a rheumatologist. The training program was evaluated in a group of 30 rheumatologists using specific questionnaires completed by physicians immediately after training and 10 weeks later. Patients were asked to complete a patient satisfaction questionnaire before and after the training was completed.

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Upon analysis, the researchers found that 10 weeks after the training, 57% of the rheumatologists felt they could estimate the patients’ need to participate in shared decision-making. With respect to communication, 62% of the rheumatologists felt their skills were enhanced after the program and 33% of rheumatologists reported more engagement with shared decision-making.

In addition, the team reported that no significant differences were found in patient satisfaction before or after completion of the training; however, patient satisfaction was high.

“Further research should focus on the direct effect of a shared decision making training on the daily practice, for example by means of a randomized controlled trial,” the researchers wrote.

Reference

Mahmood S, Hazes JMW, Veldt P, et al. The development and evaluation of a personalized training in shared decision making skills for rheumatologists [published online April 1, 2019]. J Rheumatol. doi:10.3899/jrheum.180780