A Questionnaire-Based Study to Investigate the Extent of Shared Decision-making During Consultations in Out-of-hours Primary Care

  • Samuel FinnikinEmail author
  • Joanne Protheroe
  • Daniel Lasserson
Concise Research Report


Out-of-hours (OOH) primary care physicians (PCPs) provide urgent primary care when in-hours practices are closed. During consultations, several decisions may be made about treatments, investigations or referral. In modern healthcare systems, there is growing emphasis on involving patients in decisions about their care. It is generally agreed that this should be achieved through the process of ‘shared decision-making’ (SDM). It is also understood that patients vary in their preferences for involvement in decision-making.1

In OOH care, the patient and clinician are not known to one another, there are little or no medical records and patients tend to present with acute problems. These factors mean there is no pre-existing relationship or implicit knowledge in the encounter which increases the necessity for eliciting and incorporating values and preferences into the consultation through a SDM approach. It is not known currently whether decisions being made in an OOH setting...



This study would not have been possible without the support of the clinicians and directors of Badger Group.

Author Contributions

SF DL and JP were involved in the design of the study. SF undertook data collection and analysis and all authors contributed and approved the final manuscript.

Funding Information

This study was unfunded but we acknowledge the support of the West Midlands Clinical Research Network who funded the work required facilitate this research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical approval was received from the Proportionate Review Sub-committee of the London Queen Square Research Ethics Committee (REC ref 18/LO/1425).

Conflict of Interest

SF receives income from freelance writing, lecturing and reviewing from a variety of sources including EBSCO Information Services who produce Option Grid™ decision aids.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Applied Health Research University of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.School of Primary, Community and Social CareKeele UniversityKeeleUK
  3. 3.Dept of Acute Medicine, City HospitalSandwell and West Birmingham HospitalsBirminghamUK

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