The Health Decision Sciences Center conducts innovative research in the field of shared decision making. Our research advances the field of decision science and distills practical knowledge on implementation methods, decision support tools, skills training, and decision quality measurement.

Newly funded projects

  1. Press Release: Karen Sepucha, PhD from Massachusetts General Hospital and Sammy Elmariah, MD from University of California San Francisco have been approved for a $5.6 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study shared decision making for aortic valve replacement decisions.
  2. Press Release: Drs. Sepucha and Hartnick from Massachusetts General Hospital have been approved for a $5.6 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study interventions designed to improve care coordination for caregivers with children with tracheostomies.

Current Projects

The HDSC is currently engaged in comparative effectiveness studies decision aids, implementation studies of decision support into primary and specialty care, studies integrating measures of decision quality into routine care, studies evaluating the impact of online and interactive shared decision making skills training, and studies examining the relationship between patient decision aid use and medical liability. Current work is supported by grants from PCORI, AHRQ, the Donaghue Foundation, CRICO, and others.

Measures of Decision Quality

The HDSC team has lead efforts to develop surveys to measure the quality of decisions for a range of common medical conditions. The Decision Quality Instruments (DQIs) measure the extent to which the patient is informed, meaningfully involved in decision making, and receive treatment that matched their goals. Details on two NQF-endorsed measures based on these surveys are available for use. Learn why it is important to measure decision quality, how the DQIs are developed, key findings from development studies, and download the surveys and user guides.

SUNDAE Reporting Checklist

Dr. Sepucha co-lead an international workgroup of IPDAS collaborators to develop a set of reporting guidelines for studies evaluating patient decision aids. Researchers can use the guidelines to help write manuscripts, prepare grants, and even as an aid for peer-review of papers.  Access the key papers and download an interactive SUNDAE checklist.

Past Projects

Read about our HDSC work, including an evaluation of our resident training program, efforts to improve decision making for diabetic patients with depression, and the development of practice guidelines for patients making a decision about treating acute low back pain.


Links to published work by the team members.

Key Papers in Shared Decision Making

A curated list of critical papers in the field of shared decision making.