Partnerships to improve shared decision making for patients with hypertension-health equity implications

Aisha T. Langford, Stephen K. Williams, Melanie Applegate, Olugbenga Ogedegbe, Ronald S. Braithwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Shared decision making (SDM) has increasingly become appreciated as a method to enhance patient involvement in health care decisions, patient-provider communication, and patient-centered care. Compared with cancer, the literature on SDM for hypertension is more limited. This is notable because hypertension is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and both conditions disproportionately affect certain subgroups of patients. However, SDM holds promise for improving health equity by better engaging patients in their health care. For example, many reasonable options exist for treating uncomplicated stage-1 hypertension. These options include medication and/ or lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, physical activity, and weight management. Deciding on "the best" plan of action for hypertension management can be challenging because patients have different goals and preferences for treatment. As hypertension management may be considered a preference-sensitive decision, adherence to treatment plans may be greater if those plans are concordant with patient preferences. SDM can be implemented in a broad array of care contexts, from patient-provider dyads to interprofessional collaborations. In this article, we argue that SDM has the potential to advance health equity and improve clinical care. We also propose a process to evaluate whether SDM has occurred and suggest future directions for research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Decision Making
  • Health Equity
  • Hypertension
  • Patient Participation
  • Primary Health Care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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