March 20, 2012

Online tools available to help make informed treatment choices

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has made new online shared decision-making (SDM) tools available that provide an interactive, collaborative connection between individuals and their health care providers.

Through the online tools, consumers can work with their behavioral health care providers to make informed health care decisions best suited to achieve a successful path to recovery.

The SAMHSA online shared decision-making tools can be accessed here.

The SDM approach helps promote consumer choice, self-determination and personal empowerment. All these factors can be important in leading to positive treatment outcomes. According to SAMHSA, by being active participants in treatment, those in recovery can improve their adherence to treatment regimens.

In the SDM, one of the new tools is an online decision aid to assist consumers to make informed treatment decisions about antipsychotic medications. The aid enables consumers to share their treatment preferences and concerns with their provider. It also allows consumers to weigh the side effect profiles of various antipsychotic medications and explore options to promote recovery.

In addition to the online decision aid, other tools include helpful videos, worksheets, tip sheets and program activities.

The information is also available in printable format to share with providers during a treatment meeting. It gives providers a better understanding of consumer needs and preferences and helps to both develop effective therapeutic relationships and increase treatment efficiency by helping to focus treatment discussions.

If someone does not want to access the tools online, and would prefer to have the SDM at home, it is available at the SAMHSA store for free on DVD.


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