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While shared decision making (SDM) in general health has proven effectiveness, it has received far less attention within mental health practice with a disconnection between policy and ideals. The purpose of this paper to review existing developments, contemporary challenges, and evidence regarding SDM in mental health with a particular focus on the perspectives of service users.
This is a review of international papers analysed using narrative synthesis of relevant databases.
The review shows significant barriers to the utilisation of SDM including ethical and legal frameworks, accountability and risk. The medical model of psychiatry and diagnostic stigma also contributes to a lack of professional acknowledgement of service user expertise. Service users experience an imbalance of power and feel they lack choices, being “done to” rather than “worked with”.
Practical implications:
The paper also presents perspectives about how barriers can be overcome, and service users enabled to take back power and acknowledge their own expertise.
This review is the first with a particular focus on the perspectives of service users and SDM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-178
Number of pages13
JournalMental Health Review Journal
Issue number3
Early online date17 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2017


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