Research Article|Articles in Press, 102321

Shared decision making on medication use between nurses and patients in an oncology setting: A qualitative descriptive study

  • Laura Mortelmans
    Corresponding author. Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Wilrijk, Belgium.
    Department of Nursing and Midwifery Science, Centre For Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC), Nurse and Pharmaceutical Care (NuPhaC), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Antwerp, Belgium

    Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), Leuvenseweg 38, 1000, Brussel, Belgium
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  • Sarah Bosselaers
    Department of Nursing and Midwifery Science, Centre For Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC), Nurse and Pharmaceutical Care (NuPhaC), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Antwerp, Belgium

    Department of Oncology, Gasthuiszusters Antwerpen (GZA Hospital), Oosterveldlaan 24, 2610, Wilrijk, Belgium
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  • Eva Goossens
    Department of Nursing and Midwifery Science, Centre For Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC), Nurse and Pharmaceutical Care (NuPhaC), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Antwerp, Belgium

    Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 35, 3000, Leuven, Belgium

    Department of Patient Care, Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), Drie Eikenstraat 655, 2650, Edegem, Belgium
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  • Helen Schultz
    Surgical Department, Odense University Hospital, J.B. Winsløws Vej 4, 5000, Odense C, Denmark

    Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230, Odense M, Denmark
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  • Tinne Dilles
    Department of Nursing and Midwifery Science, Centre For Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC), Nurse and Pharmaceutical Care (NuPhaC), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Antwerp, Belgium
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Published:March 13, 2023DOI:


      • Health status, medication-related knowledge, the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship, time pressure and workload can hinder the application of medication-related shared decision making between nurses and patients.
      • Patients perceived nurses as key persons in the process of shared decision making regarding medication.
      • Individual and contextual factors determined patients' desire for involvement in medication-related decisions.



      (i) To explore patients' and nurses’ experiences with medication-related shared decision making (SDM) (i.e., familiarity with the concept, application of medication-related SDM, barriers and facilitators towards its application) and (ii) to explore their role perceptions, respectively.


      A qualitative study was conducted in which seven interviews with oncological patients and a focus group interview with six nurses were performed. Prior to the interviews, observations of the application of shared decision making were conducted using the OPTION-12 scale. The observations were used exclusively to trigger the group discussion. Data were collected from November 2020 until March 2021.


      According to participants, the application of SDM regarding medication by nurses in oncology is limited. Barriers mentioned are health status, medication-related knowledge, the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship, time pressure and workload. Patients valued nurses' contribution to SDM regarding medication and perceived them as key persons because of their advocating, informative, facilitating and supportive role. Individual and contextual factors determined patients’ desire for involvement in medication-related decisions.


      Participants solely concentrated on SDM concerning drug choice and management of therapeutic and adverse effects. The patients' and nurses’ experiences and perceptions towards SDM in other domains of pharmaceutical care need further investigation.


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