A Pilot Study of CommonGround Based Shared Decision Making

Research Type

Program/Policy Level Research


  • Michelle P. Salyers, PhD
  • Kelsey Bonfils, BS
  • Jennifer Garabrant, BSW
  • Nancy Henry, BA
  • Alex Miller, BS
  • Callie Zaborenko, BS
  • Blake K. Parrish

Outside Collaborators

University of Kansas Collaborators:

  • Rick Goscha, PhD 
  • Charles Rapp, PhD
  • Sadaaki Fukui, PhD
  • Leslie Young, MSW


Shared decision-making (SDM) is a collaborative process between a provider and consumer of health services, both of whom work together to arrive at optimal healthcare decisions. Our study brings together computer-based decision aids with supports for both providers and consumers using a decisional support center (DSC) to make the goal of shared decision-making a reality in mental health services. Computer kiosks using CommonGround software incorporate learning modules about recovery, personal medicine, and monitoring of progress. Trained peers facilitate use of the DSC, and additional tools are available for providers and consumers to integrate learning and treatment. Mental health centers in several states have started implementing DSCs using CommonGround, but there has been little research. More work is needed to fully specify critical implementation elements, develop a training protocol, and refine and test measures of fidelity. We also need to examine the implementation and outcomes of the program outside of the clinical settings where CommonGround was first developed.


Aim 1: Refine a training manual, implementation protocol, and fidelity measure for the shared decision making program and use these materials to assess the implementation of the DSC.

Aim 2. Test the effectiveness of an SDM intervention to improve provider and consumer outcomes.

     Hypothesis 1: The DSC intervention will improve SDM in the provider-consumer interactions.

     Hypothesis 2: The DSC intervention will improve the provider’s level of patient-centered communication.

     Hypothesis 3Improvements in provider-consumer interaction and patient-centered communication will lead to improved consumer outcomes of (a) patient activation, (b) medication adherence, (c) fewer missed appointments, and (d) fewer hospital and emergency services


The expected outcomes of this study are to provide the developmental work necessary for evaluating the DSC as a tool to enhance shared decision-making in mental health services. Pending the results of this study, we will plan a full-scale randomized clinical trial. In addition, we will have tools for future implementation and dissemination of the DSC including training materials and fidelity assessments.

This research is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award number R34MH093563 (A Pilot Test of CommonGround Based Shared Decision-Making). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.