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Nursing issues
Better patient activation is a precursor to engagement in shared decision making
  1. Lisa Kidd
  1. Nursing & Healthcare, University of Glasgow School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lisa Kidd, Nursing & Healthcare, University of Glasgow School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK; Lisa.Kidd{at}

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Commentary on: Poon BY, Shortell SM and Rodriguez HP. Patient activation as a pathway to shared decision-making in adults with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. J Gen Intern Med 2019. doi:10.1007/s11606-019-05351-6. [Epub ahead of print 23 Oct 2019].

Implications for practice and research

  • Practitioners and healthcare providers should encourage engagement in shared decision making (SDM) in patients with relatively high levels of activation.

  • Further research would be useful to determine how people low in activation can be supported to engage in SDM and ‘what works, for whom and in what circumstances’.


Patient activation, or a patients’ assessment of their understanding, confidence and readiness to manage their own health,1 has been linked with positive health outcomes such as reduced blood pressure, reduced blood glucose levels2 and may be an important precursor to SDM. The relationship between patient activation and SDM, however, is …

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  • Twitter @lisakidd22

  • Competing interests LK is also an Associate Editor for Evidence Based Nursing.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.