A few days ago, an article by myself and three colleagues from philosophy, psychological safety research and pediatrics that's been accepted for a long time finally came online at the journal Health Communication's website. The article explores how standard accounts of how models for increased interaction and collaboration between patients and health care professionals – often termed patient or person centred care, and shared decision-making – fit badly to a broad group of patients; namely those whose care are mostly self-administered, who suffer vulnerable decision capacities and who exhibit a weakening adherence to decided care plans. In the article we illustrate the point with a study of adolescent diabetes care, based on video-taped consultation meetings between patients and health care professionals, and develop a general argument based on broadly recognised research in decision-making and moral psychology to revise the standard approach to person centredness and shared decision-making for this group of patients, focusing less on making shared rational autonomous decisions in health care meetings, and more on emotionally empowering patients and help them to develop virtues necessary to take responsibility for the self-care they agree on in collaboration with health professionals. Here is the abstract:
This article argues that standard models of person-centred care (PCC) and shared decision making (SDM) rely on simplistic, often unrealistic assumptions of patient capacities that entail that PCC/SDM might have detrimental effects in many applications. We suggest a complementary PCC/SDM approach to ensure that patients are able to execute rational decisions taken jointly with care professionals when performing self-care. Illustrated by concrete examples from a study of adolescent diabetes care, we suggest a combination of moral and psychological considerations to support the claim that standard PCC/SDM threatens to systematically undermine its own goals. This threat is due to a tension between the ethical requirements of SDM in ideal circumstances and more long-term needs actualized by the context of self-care handled by patients with limited capacities for taking responsibility and adhere to their own rational decisions. To improve this situation, we suggest a counseling, self-care, adherence approach to PCC/SDM, where more attention is given to how treatment goals are internalized by patients, how patients perceive choice situations, and what emotional feedback patients are given. This focus may involve less of a concentration on autonomous and rational clinical decision making otherwise stressed in standard PCC/SDM advocacy.
The article itself can be found here. For those who lack access to university libraries or subscriptions, a so-called postprint of the article – i.e. the author's finally submitted manuscript after peer review, but before editorial and type setting changes, pagination and so on – can be found here. Or you can contact me, to request a pdf of the published version.