The result is that many patients have “inadequate, incomplete, or incorrect knowledge of the benefits and risks” of diabetes treatment options, resulting in delays in treatment initiation or in prescription of a medication that is not aligned with the patient’s lifestyle or values.5 Therefore it is critically important to incorporate SDM approaches into T2DM care as a means of facilitating patient engagement and decision-making.

PDAs to Facilitate SDM

A recent study examined the role of patient decision aids (PDAs) in facilitating SDM.5 PDAs are evidence-based, publicly available tools “designed to help people make informed decisions about their treatment options.”5 They provide “balanced, neutral information about treatment alternatives and their relative benefits and disadvantages.”5 PDAs have been found effective in improving knowledge of options and outcomes, developing realistic expectations, and helping patients match value to choices and have “improved patient-provider communication, promoted discussion of treatments with their provider, and promoted SDM.”5

The Utility of PDAs in T2DM

The purpose of the PDA is to help patients with T2DM treated with metformin to make decisions about additional therapy.5 The researchers identified six domains as important:

  • Degree of glycemic response
  • Avoiding weight gain
  • Risk of hypoglycemia and other adverse events
  • Avoiding injections
  • Convenience of dose administration and blood glucose monitoring
  • Cost of therapy