Health Decision Sciences Center

Tools and Training for Shared Decision Making

Tools for Shared Decision Making

Commercial patient decision aids are available to MGH and Partners providers. A list of programs can be found here.

We also have developed and evaluated decision worksheets to make shared decision making conversations easier. The decision worksheet are designed to be used in the visit and helps providers and patients work through options, key benefits and harms, and design a plan for management. The grid format covers treatment options, with short frequently-asked questions and answers. For Partners providers, these tools are available for download on PCOI under "visit tools."

Decision worksheets are also for download here:

The worksheets are not intended to be used as a stand-alone decision aid, or to be a comprehensive set of information, but rather they are best used during the consultation to guide discussion and elicit patient preferences, values, and concerns.

For more detailed instructions, view our guide for using treatment worksheets.

We also have two videos available to demonstrate using a treatment worksheet in a discussion about starting treatment for high cholesterol. One is a "typical visit" without the decision worksheet and one illustrates how the treatment worksheet can facilitate shared decision making in action.

Send us feedback! Please email us if you have used these with your patients.


Training for Shared Decision Making

We run several different types of training and workshops to improve skills for shared decision making. Some of our workshops focus on effective communication skills and risk communication, as well as use of in-visit decision worksheets or other state of the art online tools to support shared decision making. These training sessions have been customized for different departments/practices and delivered at team meetings, department meetings, and grand rounds. Longer workshops and offsite training sessions have also been offered.

Training clinicians and staff:

  • PCMH transformation: We have worked with primary care practices to develop skills and processes to support SDM in primary care. These workshops enhance shared decision making conversations by promoting the use of decision aids, providing site specific updates, introducing new available tools, and discussing best practices for implementation. 
  • Medical resident ambulatory care curriculum workshops: In-depth training with internal medicine residents which provides an overview of shared decision making and its role in routine care, an introduction to tools to facilitate shared decision making in clinical practice, and a forum to to discuss cases and conduct role plays to apply skills to everyday practice. These workshops have a specific focus on the 6 Steps to Shared Decision Making, including risk communication and techniques to elicit patients' goals and preferences.
  • Quality improvement (QI) projects: We have worked with several departments to support required quality improvement project work. There are a series of QI projects focused on SDM that have been successfully conducted in ob/gyn, orthopedics, and urgent care.