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Shared treatment decision-making and empowerment related outcomes in psychosis: Systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Diana Stovell (a1), Anthony P. Morrison (a1), Margarita Panayiotou (a2) and Paul Hutton (a2)



In the UK almost 60% of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who use mental health services say they are not involved in decisions about their treatment. Guidelines and policy documents recommend that shared decision-making should be implemented, yet whether it leads to greater treatment-related empowerment for this group has not been systematically assessed.


To examine the effects of shared decision-making on indices of treatment-related empowerment of people with psychosis.


We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of shared decision-making concerning current or future treatment for psychosis (PROSPERO registration CRD42013006161). Primary outcomes were indices of treatment-related empowerment and objective coercion (compulsory treatment). Secondary outcomes were treatment decision-making ability and the quality of the therapeutic relationship.


We identified 11 RCTs. Small beneficial effects of increased shared decision-making were found on indices of treatment-related empowerment (6 RCTs; g = 0.30, 95% CI 0.09–0.51), although the effect was smaller if trials with >25% missing data were excluded. There was a trend towards shared decision-making for future care leading to reduced use of compulsory treatment over 15–18 months (3 RCTs; RR = 0.59, 95% CI 0.35–1.02), with a number needed to treat of approximately 10 (95% CI 5–∞). No clear effect on treatment decision-making ability (3 RCTs) or the quality of the therapeutic relationship (8 RCTs) was found, but data were heterogeneous.


For people with psychosis the implementation of shared treatment decision-making appears to have small beneficial effects on indices of treatment-related empowerment, but more direct evidence is required.


Corresponding author

Dr Paul Hutton, Section of Clinical Psychology, Doorway 6, Medical Building, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK. Email:


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The literature reviewed refers to people with psychosis variously as ‘patients', ‘service users' and ‘clients’; ‘patients' is used here for consistency and in accordance with BJPsych house style.

Declaration of interest




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Shared treatment decision-making and empowerment related outcomes in psychosis: Systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Diana Stovell (a1), Anthony P. Morrison (a1), Margarita Panayiotou (a2) and Paul Hutton (a2)
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