If you are a parent you may well have heard a lot about ‘values’. Many schools have adopted values-based education as a means of creating a better learning environment by improving attitude and behaviour. Values are principles that drive behaviour influencing our actions and attitudes and our relationship with ourselves and others. Values include patience, respect, fairness, compassion, and tolerance. It is perhaps easy to see how adopting values would make a difference in education but what about the clinical environment.You may have read the article in the osteopath by Professor Stephen Tyreman discussing the balance of evidence-based practice and values based practice. This is an approach which has been emerging over recent years. The value-based approach originated from mental health practice. Values particularly applicable to clinical practice are ethical values of honesty, transparency, ‘do no harm’ and so on as well as values of patient and practitioner including needs, hopes, preferences, expectations etc. By understanding our patients and their values we are able to undertake shared-decision making in planning their treatment and making sure that they are happy with the care they are receiving. This is all part of the communication and consent process.
Professor Bill Fulford has wrote an article in 2008 giving a clear overview of how the value-based approach fits into clinical practice.
Professor Ed Peile from Warwick University provides a commentary on how evidence based practice and values-based practice fit together:
This is a subject we will return to in the future, it is an emerging change to practice and one we will follow closely as I am sure we will read a lot more about values-based practice in the osteopathic literature.