An exploratory pilot study to describe shared decision-making for PTSD treatment planning: The provider perspective

Bella Etingen, Jennifer N. Hill, Laura J. Miller, Alan Schwartz, Sherri L. Lavela, Neil Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective To describe current practices used by Veterans Administration (VA) mental health (MH) providers involved in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment planning to support engagement of veterans with PTSD in shared decision-making (SDM). Methods Semi-structured interviews with MH providers (n = 9) were conducted at 1 large VA, audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analyzed deductively, guided by a published account of the integral SDM components for MH care. Results While discussing forming a cohesive team with patients, providers noted the importance of establishing rapport and assessing treatment readiness. Providers' clinical knowledge/expertise, knowledge of the facility's treatment options, knowledge of how to navigate the VA MH care system, and patient factors (goals/preferences, factors influencing treatment engagement) were noted as important to consider when patients and providers exchange information. When negotiating the treatment plan, providers indicated that conversations should include treatment recommendations and concurrent opportunities for personalization. They also emphasized the importance of discussions to finalize a mutually agreeable patient- A nd provider-informed treatment plan and measure treatment impact. Conclusion These results offer a preliminary understanding of VA MH providers' facilitation of SDM for PTSD care. Findings may provide insights for MH providers who wish to engage patients with PTSD in SDM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-475
Number of pages9
JournalMilitary medicine
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Mental Health Care
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Shared Decision-Making
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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