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Abstract

Purpose: Based on a recently developed medical framework for informed shared decision-making (ISDM), three health and human service programs at the University of British Columbia conducted a combined two-stage project to: (1) develop an interprofessional ISDM-training workshop and (2) test its impact in field-placement clerkships for students in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. Method: Sixteen senior year students from the participating disciplines were recruited to: (1) participate in a workshop to learn about ISDM, (2) observe multiple preceptor/patient encounters during their clerkships (3) record their observations in a field notebook, and (4) participate in a follow-up workshop to debrief their experiences and offer feedback. Results: Overall, students observed 145 encounters and coded their ability to detect the presence or absence of eight decision-making competencies in each encounter. Across the disciplines, students were more certain of some competencies (developing partnerships, negotiating decisions) than others (patient’s preferences for information, patient’s role in decision-making). Irrespective of competency, students in Physical Therapy were more hesitant to commit to certainty than other students. Analysis of student uncertainties, combined with training session debriefings provided guidelines for improving the ISDM training workshop and offered systematic instructional insights for working with students in these different disciplines.Conclusions: Despite their uncertainties, the majority of students reported that participation in the project provided them with a better understanding of ISDM and influenced the ways they would approach future communication with patients in their own practices to facilitate ISDM.

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