Decision-Making Help

What is shared decision-making?

Shared decision-making is the collaboration between patients and caregivers to come to an agreement about a health care decision. It is especially useful when there is no clear "best" treatment option.

At some point in life, most people face health care decisions affecting themselves or their families. Some health care decisions are easy. Others are not. Often, there is more than one choice, and each will have its own risks and benefits. The "right" choice depends on what is important to you. We can help. Contact us to find out more information.

The Center for Shared Decision Making (CSDM) program is dedicated to encouraging doctors and patients to make decisions together.

Support education and research activities of the Center for Shared Decision Making

Make a donation to The Hitchcock Foundation. Account 250-163

Our services

Our services are free. The CSDM is supported by Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H), grant funding, and generous donations to help meet the D-H mission of providing the best care, in the right place, at the right time, every time.

Advance care planning

As part of D-H's Honoring Care Decisions Program, our trained facilitators can help you think about your goals for care at the end of life, who you'd like to speak for you should the time come when you can no longer make your own medical decisions and help you complete Advance Directive documents.  To help you learn more about Advance Care Planning, view this program from EMMI.

Chronic disease self-management programs

Our Health Coaches and Peer Facilitators lead small-group, highly interactive workshops. The workshops meet for 2 ½ hours once a week for six weeks. They are designed to help you gain self-confidence in your ability to control your symptoms and learn how your health problems affect your life. Groups are offered throughout D-H facilities and in surrounding communities. Learn more about the self-management programs we offer (PDF).

Decision aids

Patient decision aids are educational tools that give you information about your options and encourage you to think about what is important to you as you make your healthcare choices. These web-based or paper tools may be used before, during, or after your medical appointment. We automatically provide these before certain visits to help you prepare for the discussion with your doctor. A decision aid can also be requested after your visit by either your provider or you can request one yourself.

Decision support counseling

Our health coaches do not give medical advice. We support you in making your health care decisions by helping you consider your choices in light of your personal goals, values, and what is most important to you. You and your health coach may use a tool called the Ottawa Personal Decision Guide© to assist in this process.

Patient Support Corps (PSC)

Our PSC volunteers and staff can help you organize your questions and concerns before your appointment so you won't leave your appointment feeling frustrated that you forgot to ask questions that we're keeping you up at night. They can also accompany you to your appointment to take notes and, with permission from all present, audio record the visit so you can concentrate on the conversation.

For more information, please call or email Patient Support Corps.

Support the Patient Support Corps

You can help the Patient Support Corps continue its transformative work by making a gift to the Professor Rob Oden, Jr, Fund.