Lyndal Trevena: Bringing evidence based practice and shared decision making together

lyndal_trevenaAs I write this blog, research teams from the four corners of the globe are travelling to Sydney for the first joint conference of the International Shared Decision Making (ISDM) group and the International Society for Evidence Based Health Care (ISEHC). There are over 300 delegates from more than 25 countries and a large contingent from our neighbouring Asia-Pacific region.

It’s hard to believe it is over two years ago that we agreed to host this conference and the two groups decided to combine for the first time. At the 2013 ISDM conference in Peru, Gordon Guyatt gave a keynote address entitled “EBM needs SDM needs EBM,” which highlighted the complementarity of these two fields of research.

Thus, with bated breath we await the “first date” of these two research groups which appear to be a perfect match on paper. The organising committee has programmed a number of integrated sessions combing EBM and SDM papers around clinical topics such as cardiovascular disease, and population groups such as older persons and vulnerable groups. There’s also a deliberate and active participation by consumers throughout.

The keynote speakers include Victor Montori, Alex Barratt, and Sharon Straus along with panel sessions considering patient involvement, training, challenges and opportunities. The full programme can be found on the conference website.

Ironically, like other medical colleagues before me, I’ve been on the patient-side of the fence this year with a diagnosis of early rectal cancer and currently having adjuvant chemotherapy either side of this meeting. This experience has made me even more passionate about the importance of this work in supporting clinicians and their patients and families in making decisions about healthcare.

I’ll be blogging summaries and highlights from the conference over the coming week and you can follow us on Twitter through the hashtag #ISDMISEHC. We’d love to engage a wider international audience in this “first date” of the two groups. Please feel free to join the discussions from wherever you are.

Thank you to The BMJ for their support as media partners of this event.

Lyndal Trevena is Professor of Primary Health Care and Head of the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Sydney. She is Co-Chair of the ISDM-ISEHC Conference in Sydney 19-22 July, 2015.

Competing interests: None declared.