Shared decision options

Shared decision options

Swings and roundabouts

Choose the best option for YOU, with our help

How often have you left the doctor’s surgery thinking that you haven’t had enough time to fully explore what is the best option to manage your problem? We are all individuals. We all make different decisions about what we are happy to do to keep healthy.

We still depend on doctors to help us to figure out what our illnesses are. And when we figure out what our illness is, we all need help to negotiate what types of treatment suit us best. What works best to help us to feel better or live longer? What are we prepared to do? Figuring all of this out takes time. Your 10 minute GP appointment rarely suffices. Let your doctor help you to decide what your problem is. Then, join me in bringing your choices to life.

I’ve had conversations with some of my patients about their choices, based on what I have discovered about their circumstances, values, fears and wishes. I present viable options to them based on the things that matter to them. Together, the patient and I can tailor potential treatment options to their condition or problem. I present extra evidence to help you, the listening audience, to make decisions that might suit you too.

Most GPs will ask you to read more about your problem before deciding what to do, to make you feel better. My experience is that many patients struggle to bring their choices to life from written words. When I share these audio recordings with my patients, they quickly make their own choices, and usually they contact me by phone to take the next steps.

There is no single “best” option that suits every patient. Just like some children prefer swings, some children prefer roundabouts. I have recorded these extended conversations with real patients to illustrate the broad range of options available to patients who have a similar diagnosis or problem.

These audios are part of our Real General Practice project. Real General Practice aims to help GPs in training, and GPs, to improve their communication skills and their knowledge of how to to their job in the consulting room. Perhaps you could make a recommendation to your friends on social media to ensure that more patients get to access our shared decision making tools 😇 👍🏾

Dr Keith Birrell, GP trainer Herrington Medical Centre December 2017

Real General Practice

Real General Practice

Losing weight options audio (Mark)

Links to Patient Information Leaflets for:

Fibromyalgia options audio (Melanie)

Link to fibromyalgia Patient Information Leaflet

Link to article about functional illnesses (Dr Birrell)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome options audio (Rachel)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome options audio (Joanne)

Link to Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patient Information Leaflet

Link to: Fibre, low FODMAP diet and gut bacteria

Link to: Feeding your good bacteria with probiotics and prebiotic supplements


Insomnia options audio (Neil)

Insomnia linked to stress options audio. Sleep hygiene (Carl)

Link to: Insomnia article (Dr Birrell)

Link to: Insomnia questionnaire

Link to: Sleep Problems (Dr Dave Tomson)

Link to: Sleep hygiene leaflet (Dr Birrell)

Link to: Epworth questionnaire

Link to: Sleep diary

Link to: Sleep restriction

Blood pressure and heart attack and stroke prevention options audio (Paul)

Options to reduce risk of heart attack, angina and stroke if your blood pressure is high. Audio (Julia)

Could you be at risk? Download the following attachment. Print it off and ask your receptionist, nurse or doctor to give you the following numbers: your top (systolic) blood pressure; your cholesterol number; your healthy (HDL) cholesterol number; your height in cm; your weight in kg; and whether you have chronic kidney disease, atrial fibrillation rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes. If you do not have familial hypercholesterolaemia (uncommon) nor have you had a heart attack, angina, a stroke or narrowed arteries then you can decide with the Prevention Heart attacks 2018 tool whether it is worth doing something about your risk. The tool will tell you what your risk is at the moment and which options might help you.

Preventing Heart attacks 2018

Lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure and to reduce the risk of heart attacks, angina and stroke options audio (Monica)

Simple structured advice to reduce alcohol consumption and to address harmful and hazardous drinking options audio (Monica)

Symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle options audio (Laura)

HRT options audio (Tina)

Options for HRT – decision aid and handout

Options for treating and preventing migraines – audio (Pippa)

Options for preventing migraines – audio (Ross)

Options for preventing migraine – decision aid and handout

Options for treating migraine – decision aid and handout

Options for managing newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes – audio (Gordon)

Options for managing type 2 diabetes – audio (Christine)

Options for managing type 2 diabetes – decision aid and handout

Bone Health Options for managing osteoporosis – audio (Margaret)

Anxiety and Depression – shared decision making for managing anxiety and depression (Hannah)

Options for anxiety and depression – decision aid and handout

Anxiety and Depression options – choosing a medicine (Hannah)

Options for anxiety and depression – Mayo clinic decision aid for antidepressants

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