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In clinical practice, it is crucial that patients have access to high-quality information to help them to make an informed choice when faced with making a decision about their care. 

For musculoskeletal conditions, there has been no consistent and accessible way to guide patients in the interpretation of the latest evidence about the treatment options that are available.

The Joint Decision Initiative is a programme designed and led by Andrew Price and Simon Abram in collaboration with The Patients Association. The aim of the Initiative is to develop standardised Decision Support Sheets to support patients and clinicians through the shared decision-making process. Initially, the programme is focussed on developing decision aids for patients with common orthopaedics conditions of the knee.

The first Decision Support Sheet has been developed with funding from the Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, in collaboration with The Patients Association and fifteen patients. The meniscus is a cushion of cartilage in the knee which can become torn and the commonly offered treatments are an individualised rehabilitation programme or key-hole surgery. This will be published and available for use in 2021. An outline of the development process is summarised here.

This project work continues and we are next planning to develop Decision Support Sheets for the following conditions:

  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Cruciate ligament rupture

We welcome expressions of interest from patients and carers who may be interested in supporting this work or our other research projects.