There is increasing emphasis on the importance of understanding how the daily life of a patient impacts their health and healthcare

A crucial underlying reason for shared decision-making described above centers around the seemingly straightforward concept that a treatment plan can only be effective if a patient can actually integrate that plan in their life. A medication or other therapy or intervention may be effective in principle, but the impact it may have demonstrated in clinical trials and other patients will not be seen if a patient is unable to adhere to the regimen. While a host of factors can impact medical adherence, the experts emphasized the need to understand how the everyday aspects of a patient’s life affect the ease or difficulty of a given therapy. For example, work schedules may conflict with a medication regimen or a recommendation for physical activity, or transportation issues may be a barrier that causes a patient not to follow through on a follow-up with a behavioral specialist, etc. For health professionals, the more able they are to understand the obstacles in individual patients’ everyday lives, the more likely they will be to provide treatment options that patients can actually sustain.