Providing appropriate treatment to patients with a first episode of mood disorders is crucial for recovery from the disorders. Although shared decision making (SDM) has been proposed as a promising model in psychiatric practice, an appropriate SDM approach has not yet been established. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects of an originally developed seven-day SDM program for outpatients with a first episode of mood disorders among university students. University students with a first episode of mood disorders were randomly allocated into two arms: SDM and control. The participants in the SDM arm received the seven-day SDM program, which included option presentation consultation, external deliberation with a decision aid booklet, decision coaching by a nurse, and decision-making consultation. The control arm received usual care. The primary outcome was patient-perceived involvement. We enrolled 88 participants. Compared with usual care, the SDM program significantly improved patient-perceived involvement in treatment decision making without taking up clinicians’ time. The program did not lead to worse symptoms of mood disorders. In conclusion, sharing treatment decision making with university students with a first episode of mood disorders is feasible.
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