Australian SDM Network

About us

The Australian SDM Network consists of Australians with an interest in shared decision making and includes SDM researchers, clinician-researchers, and individuals in health policy and management.

It aims to help increase awareness of SDM research and initiatives happening across Australia, foster collaboration and support, and inform gaps in research and advocacy.

In 2024, the network will be hosting an Australian SDM Research Symposium at the Gold Coast (details to follow).

For any questions about this Network or if you wish to join, please email its Chair, Professor Tammy Hoffmann

Network Members

Professor Tammy Hoffmann (Chair)

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Centre for Evidence-Informed Health Decisions, Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare, Bond University

  • Facilitating the interconnection between shared decision making and evidence-based practice, including in training and how evidence is used in patient decision aids
  • SDM training for clinicians and student clinicians
  • SDM implementation, integration into policies and clinical guidelines, and its role in facilitating sustainable healthcare
  • Development and evaluation of patient decision aids, including their role in correcting misperceptions about test and treatment benefits and harms
  • E: thoffmann@bond.edu.au

Professor Kirsten McCaffery (President, International Shared Decision Making Society)

NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine & Health
Director, Sydney Health Literacy Lab, University of Sydney

  • How to support and empower people from diverse backgrounds participate in SDM, including but not limited to people who are socially disadvantaged, First Nations populations, culturally and linguistically diverse, gender diverse people and people living with a disability.
  • Application of SDM in situations where low value care is commonplace with the goal to support consumers make informed decisions.
  • E: kirsten.mccaffery@sydney.edu.au

Dr Pragya Ajitsaria

Senior Staff Specialist Anaesthetist, John Hunter Hospital
ECR representative for Surgical and Perioperative Care Research Program
Hunter Medical Research Institute, NSW
Conjoint Lecturer and PhD student, University of Newcastle, NSW

  • Delivery and implementation of SDM for adult patients considering high risk surgical procedures, with specific interest in delivery in a cost-effective/ sustainable manner and evaluation if we are achieving what we hope to achieve in clinical practice.
  • Development of consensus ideas across all of the stakeholders regarding the above points, such that we can all be measuring the same things in research and in practice, and start benchmarking, comparing ideas, and adopting those components that work.
  • E: Pragya.Ajitsaria@health.nsw.gov.au

Dr Mina Bakhit

Assistant Professor, Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare
Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University

  • SDM implementation
  • Training health professionals in SDM skills.
  • Helping doctors and patients make evidence-informed collaborative decisions for different conditions.
  • Exploring new ways of communicating prognostic information to patients and caregivers.
  • E: mbakhit@bond.edu.au

Kwame Peprah Boaitey

PhD Candidate
Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare, Bond University

Dr Carissa Bonner

Senior Research Fellow, Menzies Centre for Health Policy & Economics
Faculty of Medicine & Health, The University of Sydney

  • Implementation of decision aids in primary care systems, using codesign processes to develop health literacy responsive decision aids, culturally adapted shared decision making models, and different ways to convey scientific uncertainty within decision aids.
  • Main health areas are CVD prevention, diabetes management and infectious disease control.
  • E: carissa.bonner@sydney.edu.au

Tara Dimopoulos-Bick

Agency for Clinical Innovation
NSW Health

  • Using implementation science to support the uptake of SDM in various health settings, particularly in addressing unwarranted clinical variation and, more broadly integrating SDM into policy, clinical guidance, and models of care.
  • E: Tara.DimopoulosBick@health.nsw.gov.au

Dr Alana Fisher

Research Fellow, School of Psychological Sciences, Macquarie University
Consumer Engagement Manager MQ Health, MindSpot
Honorary Fellow, Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, University of Sydney

  • Improvement of understanding and uptake of SDM across different mental health populations and settings, both through the development of evidence-based patient/consumer interventions (e.g., patient decision-support tools), and clinical practice/management guidelines.
  • Use of qualitative, mixed-, and consumer involvement methods within health research and health service design.
  • E: alana.fisher@mq.edu.au

Andrew R Gamble

PhD candidate , Institute of Musculoskeletal Health, Discipline of Physiotherapy
Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney

  • Improvement of decision-making in healthcare.
  • Development of a patient decision aid for children and adolescents who have ruptured their anterior cruciate ligament and people with degenerative cervical myelopathy.
  • E: agam1165@uni.sydney.edu.au

Dr Jolyn Hersch

Senior Research Fellow, School of Public Health and (honorary), School of Psychology, The University of Sydney
Sydney Health Literacy Lab
Wiser Healthcare; Psycho-Oncology Co-Operative Group

  • Psychosocial aspects of screening and testing.
  • Development and evaluation of decision aids and other communication resources using qualitative and quantitative research methods, including in contexts where issues of potential overdiagnosis and overtreatment are relevant.
  • In the clinical context of oncology and/or cancer screening, development of a novel online dynamic consent platform to support informed consent around genomic testing in oncology (supported by a Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Fellowship).
  • E: jolyn.hersch@sydney.edu.au



Dr Zoe Keon-Cohen

Specialist Anaesthetist , Austin Health and Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
PhD candidate, Monash University

  • Advanced care planning and goals of care discussions in perioperative and end-of-life care and SDM.
  • Policy development and guidelines for end-of-life care.
  • E: zkeoncohen@gmail.com


Dr Rajni Lal

Perioperative Care Medical Lead, Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospital
Geriatrician and General Physician, Ryde Hospital
Perioperative Physician, Sydney Peri-Operative Clinic
PhD Candidate, University of Sydney

  • SDM in healthcare, including research, training, policy advocacy, and resource development
  • The potential of SDM in geriatrics and perioperative care to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • E: Rajni.Lal@health.nsw.gov.au

Dr Debra Leung

Staff Specialist Anaesthetist and PhD candidate
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, The University of Melbourne

  • Perioperative SDM or SDM for high-risk surgical patients.
  • Communication skills training to facilitate SDM in the clinical setting.
  • E: Debra.Leung@petermac.org

Sharyn Milnes

Education Manager – iValidate program Centre for Education and Training
Clinical Ethicist , Clinical Ethics Response Team
Barwon Health

  • The effect of education for doctors and nurses in clinical communication skills for shared decision making with patients with life-limiting illness, on documentation of goals of care in the acute care setting.
  • Development of a tool to identify patients with life limiting illness based on Gold Standard Framework and SPICT in the acute care setting.
  • Education program and clinical implementation program (iValidate) to improve shared decision making with patients at high risk of clinical deterioration.
  • E:Sharyn.Milnes@barwonhealth.org.au
Regina Osten

Regina Osten

Stream Manager Integrated Care and Aboriginal Health, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation

  • The application of shared decision making in primary and community health, chronic care, and Aboriginal health. Working in a state based organisation I focus on how policy and programs support uptake and how we can support scale and spread in NSW.

Dr Heather Shepherd

Senior Lecturer, Theme Lead, Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Medicine and Health , Co-Lead, Implementation Science Academy
Sydney Health Partners

  • Implementation science, shared decision-making, safety and quality in health care, social determinants of health, health professional /patient communication, evidence-based practice, and development and evaluation tools to support health literacy and empowerment.
  • E: heather.shepherd@sydney.edu.au

Dr Magenta Simmons

Head, Youth Involvement Research
Orygen, Centre for Youth Mental Health,
The University of Melbourne

  • Involvement of young people who experience mental health challenges in making decisions about their own care, and the development of resources and interventions to support such involvement.
  • Development of decision specific shared decision making tools (e.g., depression, psychosis) and broader resources (e.g., clinical practice guides) to improve the shared decision making knowledge and skills of the Australian youth mental health workforce.
  • E:msimmons@unimelb.edu.au

Dr Rachel Thompson

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine and Health,
The University of Sydney

  • Shared decision-making research, including measurement, implementation, and education, particularly in reproductive and perinatal health.
  • E: rachel.thompson@sydney.edu.au

Dr Marguerite Tracy

Senior Lecturer in General Practice, Sydney School of Medicine
Sydney Health Literacy Lab
Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney
Staff specialist, Addiction Medicine
Acting Research Team Leader, Drug Health Services, Western Sydney Local Health District

  • Addiction medicine.
  • Culturally safe and accessible shared decision making particularly through encouraging participation through question prompt lists.
  • E: marguerite.tracy@sydney.edu.au

Prof Lyndal Trevena

Professor Emerita, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney

  • Shared Decision Making with vulnerable populations.
  • Provides clinical care as a general practitioner to Asylum Seekers and refugees
  • Co-leads the IPDAS domain on presenting probabilities
  • Co-author on the Cochrane Review on Patient Decision Aids
  • Translation of shared decision making into policy and practice

Dr Edith Waugh

Staff Specialist Anaesthetist and Clinical Lead in Perioperative Medicine
Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Royal Darwin Hospital
PhD candidate at Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin
Senior Lecturer, Flinders University

  • Shared decision-making with cultural responsiveness.
  • Health equity advocate
  • Shared decision making with cultural responsiveness.
  • E: Edith.Waugh@nt.gov.au

Dr Joshua Zadro

Research Fellow, Sydney Musculoskeletal Health,
The University of Sydney and Sydney Local Health District

  • Development and testing of patient decision aids for people with musculoskeletal conditions facing the decision between surgical and non-surgical management.
  • E:joshua.zadro@sydney.edu.au