Most people ask more questions when ordering a meal at a restaurant or purchasing a cellphone than they do during an appointment with their health care provider. Studies have shown that people who are involved in treatment decisions have fewer regrets about treatment, are more likely to stick with their treatment plan, and wind up spending less on health care. On the other hand, people who are less involved in treatment planning risk poor health outcomes when they don’t express their needs and preferences to their doctors.
Shared decision making is an approach to health care in which you and your doctor discuss your multiple myeloma treatment options and goals and come to a mutual decision about which treatment is best for you. In shared decision making, your doctor explains the potential benefits and risks of each treatment for multiple myeloma, and you help the doctor understand what is most important to you.
For shared decision making to work, you must identify your priorities and communicate them to your doctor. Your main goal may be:
The doctor discussion guide below can help you make the most of your time with your doctor and make sure you have all the information you need to participate in shared decision making. Download it onto your phone or print it for your next doctor appointment.
There are more treatment options than ever for multiple myeloma, but it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of each. Whether you’re on a medication or chemotherapy regimen, a candidate for a stem cell transplant, considering radiation therapy, or interested in participating in a clinical trial, shared decision making can help you choose the best treatment for you with the guidance and expertise of your health care team.