Promoting the value and practice of shared decision-making in mental health care

Carole Schauer, Anita Everett, Paolo Del Vecchio, Leigh Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Active consumer participation is critical in contemporary mental health care and treatment planning and has been a staple of the field of psychiatric rehabilitation for the last three decades (Anthony, 1979). Providing the opportunity for consumers to chose interventions that fit personal preferences and recovery increase the likelihood that these interventions will enhance personal meaning, satisfaction and quality of life (Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance Use Conditions, 2006; Cook, Terrell, & Jonikas, 2004; Anthony, Cohen, Farkas, & Gagne, 2002). Similarly, self-determination and shared decision-making are critical components of recovery. As stated in the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Final Report, recovery from mental illnesses should be the expectation in mental health care with services and treatments that are consumer and family-driven. Mental health care should be planned and delivered to ensure that consumers and families with children with mental health problems receive real and meaningful choices about treatment options and providers (New Freedom Commission, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to explore the value and use of shared decision-making in health and mental health care, briefly examine the advantages and disadvantages of shared decision making and propose next steps in advancing use of shared decision-making in mental health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


  • Consumer direction
  • Mental illness
  • Recovery
  • Shared decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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