Sharing decision-making between the older person and the nurse: A scoping review

Publication Name

International Journal of Older People Nursing


Background: Sharing decision-making is globally recognised as an important concept in healthcare research, policy, education and practice which enhances person-centred care. However, it is becoming increasingly evident shared decision-making has not been successfully translated into everyday healthcare practice. Sharing decision-making has strong links with person-centred practice. Core to person-centredness and shared decision making, is the need to recognise that as we age, greater reliance is placed on emotion and life experience to inform decision making processes. With the world's ageing population, older persons facing more complex decisions and transitions of care, it is more important than ever it is understood how shared decision-making occurs. Objectives: This scoping literature review aims to find out how sharing decision making between nurses and older persons in healthcare settings is understood and presented in published literature. Methods: This scoping review utilised the Arksey and O'Malley methodological framework, advanced by Levac et al. Electronic databases and grey literature were searched, returning 362 records which were examined against defined inclusion criteria. Reporting followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). Results: Twenty-two records met inclusion criteria for the review. Results indicate while shared decision-making is included in research, education and policy literature, it has not been effectively translated to inform practice and the relationship between a nurse and an older person. The records lack definitions of shared decision-making and theoretical or philosophical underpinnings. There is also no consideration of emotion and life experience in decision-making and how nurses ‘do’ shared decision-making with older persons. Conclusions: The findings demonstrate sharing decision-making between nurses and older persons is not well understood in the literature, and therefore is not translated into nursing practice. Further research is needed.

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