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Shared Decision-Making in Contraceptive Care

Shared decision-making (SDM) is a broader framework within which contraceptive counseling may be conducted. SDM asserts that the provider-client interaction should be neither wholly directive nor consumer driven, but instead, shared. The provider brings to the visit their skills and expertise and the client brings their lived experience, needs, and preferences.

Research shows that women counseled using a SDM approach were more likely to be satisfied with their counseling experience and had significantly higher satisfaction with their method than those who made a choice independently. Additionally, clients who felt the provider had a method preference were less likely to be satisfied with their method.

Interested in learning more about incorporating shared decision-making into sexual and reproductive health care? Watch Dr. Dehlendorf’s discussion on SDM here.

For most contraceptive counseling interactions, Every Body Texas recommends taking a shared decision-making approach. Using this approach means providers no longer use the tiered-effectiveness of methods as a default to counsel clients (a previously recommended practice that is mostly directive in its approach). Instead, practicing SDM centers the client when reproductive life goals are explored and ensures that reproductive health decisions are made based on both the providers expertise and the client’s preferences.

Shared decision-making consists of five components:


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