Patient information and shared decision making

Quality statement 2 - Cataract Clinical Care Standard

A patient with suspected or confirmed cataract receives information to support shared decision making. Information is provided in a way that meets the patient’s needs, and is easy to use and understand. The patient is given the opportunity to discuss the likely benefits and potential harms of the available options, as well as their needs and preferences.

Purpose

To ensure that patients with cataract receive accurate and balanced information about the surgical and non-surgical options available to them, and the likely benefits and potential harms of each option to enable an informed decision about whether to have cataract surgery.

For patients

Your clinician will talk to you about cataract and its treatment in a way that you can understand, and is respectful of your cultural needs and individual situation. Written information will be presented in a format that is easy for you to use. You will be informed about the available options, including their expected benefits and possible adverse outcomes – these might include unsatisfactory changes in your vision and more serious complications. You will be asked about the effect that vision problems are having on your life, and have the opportunity to discuss the advantages and potential disadvantages of surgery for your individual circumstances. Other options, including visual aids and watchful waiting, should also be discussed.

For clinicians

Provide patients who have cataract with clinically accurate, evidence-based information about their options, both verbally and in a written format that is easy to use – for example, in large font or electronically. Suitable options may include surgical or non-surgical options, such as visual aids or watchful waiting. Ask the patient about their needs, preferences, quality-of-life concerns and any psychosocial issues, to help you to support them in shared decision making.

Provide care that is culturally safe and respectful for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

For health service organisations

Ensure that policies support shared decision making and the competence of clinicians, who should be appropriately trained in shared decision making and have access to suitable resources. Ensure that any patient information resources provided are clinically accurate, balanced and evidence-based, and suitable to your patient population. These resources should include information about surgical and non-surgical options, be easy to understand, and be presented in a format that is easy to use for patients with impaired vision.

Provide a culturally safe environment for your patient community.55 The level of comorbidities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their age at diagnosis and disparities in their health outcomes means that health care for this population needs to be refocused to meet the unique needs of each patient.12

For patients

Your clinician will talk to you about cataract and its treatment in a way that you can understand, and is respectful of your cultural needs and individual situation. Written information will be presented in a format that is easy for you to use. You will be informed about the available options, including their expected benefits and possible adverse outcomes – these might include unsatisfactory changes in your vision and more serious complications. You will be asked about the effect that vision problems are having on your life, and have the opportunity to discuss the advantages and potential disadvantages of surgery for your individual circumstances. Other options, including visual aids and watchful waiting, should also be discussed.

For clinicians

Provide patients who have cataract with clinically accurate, evidence-based information about their options, both verbally and in a written format that is easy to use – for example, in large font or electronically. Suitable options may include surgical or non-surgical options, such as visual aids or watchful waiting. Ask the patient about their needs, preferences, quality-of-life concerns and any psychosocial issues, to help you to support them in shared decision making.

Provide care that is culturally safe and respectful for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

For health service organisations

Ensure that policies support shared decision making and the competence of clinicians, who should be appropriately trained in shared decision making and have access to suitable resources. Ensure that any patient information resources provided are clinically accurate, balanced and evidence-based, and suitable to your patient population. These resources should include information about surgical and non-surgical options, be easy to understand, and be presented in a format that is easy to use for patients with impaired vision.

Provide a culturally safe environment for your patient community.55 The level of comorbidities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their age at diagnosis and disparities in their health outcomes means that health care for this population needs to be refocused to meet the unique needs of each patient.12

Read quality statement 3 - Access to ophthalmology assessment