2 Informed Consent and Shared Decision-Making

Informed Consent and Shared Decision-Making

Informed consent ensures clients understand a therapeutic approach fully before giving consent to begin. This also includes a discussion about the possible risks and benefits of receiving treatment, for the adult population adverse effects are often mild and transitory. Most common intervention-related adverse effects include increased pain and discomfort, aching muscles, headache, and tenderness (Skelly et al., 2020). Informed consent should involve a two-way flow of information and should include a clearly defined treatment plan. Shared decision-making will play a role in establishing a treatment goal, in doing so the patient and the clinician can work together to establish a clear consensus regarding the intended goals of treatment (Hoffman et al., 2014; Hoffman et al., 2020).

Effective communication is fundamental for informed consent and shared decision-making. In order to provide understandable and accessible information clinicians should avoid the use of medical jargon and embrace the use of educational resources and visual aids to enhance patient understanding (Muscat et al., 2020; Wittink & Oosterhaven, 2018). During the informed consent process therapists should include a discussion with the person about:

  • the nature of the treatment;
  • the expected benefits;
  • risks and side effects;
  • alternative courses of action;
  • likely consequences of not having treatment; and
  • their right to ask questions about the information provided and that assessment or treatment will be stopped or modified at any time at their request.

Key Takeaways

Informed consent and shared-decision making will include a discussion about the possible risks and benefits of receiving treatment. The therapist and patient will work together to develop a plan of care based on the individualized goals and needs of the patient.

References and Sources

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Skelly, A.C., Chou, R., Dettori, J.R., Turner, J.A., Friedly, J.L., Rundell, S.D., … Ferguson, A.J.R. (2020). Noninvasive Nonpharmacological Treatment for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review Update. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US). DOI: https://doi.org/10.23970/AHRQEPCCER227

Wittink, H., & Oosterhaven, J. (2018). Patient education and health literacy. Musculoskeletal science & practice, 38, 120–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msksp.2018.06.004


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Evidence-Based Massage Therapy by Richard Lebert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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