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Shared Decision Making - Overview

What is it? Why it Works Contact Your Social Worker Get VETERAN
Decision Aid
Decision Aid

We define SDM as a collaborative, patient-centered decision making process that assists Veterans in assessing their health-related needs, setting priorities and making choices that achieve their goals.

VHA encourages you to share decisions about long term care by including others in your discussions. This includes your family caregiver, medical provider and, of course, your social worker or care coordinator.


Cartoon person scratching head

What is Shared Decision Making?
This animated video explains how patients can make a shared decision about their medical treatment.
(courtesy of Informed Medical Decisions Foundation)

photo of a physician in a clinic

Shared Decision Making Helps Providers
Three providers explain how shared decision making improves their patient visits.
(courtesy of Informed Medical Decisions Foundation)

Heads of four VHA leaders

VHA Leadership Supports Shared Decision Making? - Learn why VHA leaders are supporting shared decision making for choices about long term services and supports.

Rural scene with barn and fields

Shared Decision Making in Rural Areas - Learn how social work is key to helping Veterans, their family and caregivers make decisions about long term services and supports.


For Veterans
Shared Decision Making Worksheet
Helps you think about your long term care needs and preferences.

For Caregivers
Self-Assessment Worksheet
Helps you assess your caregiver role and responsibilities.