Hilary Louise Bekker


Hilary Louise Bekker


Hilary is Professor of Medical Decision Making in the Department of Public Health, Aarhus University (DK) and the Institute of Health Sciences - School of Medicine, University of Leeds (UK). Until international travel restrictions are lifted, contact Hilary via h.l.bekker@leeds.ac.uk.


Hilary Leads the Research Centre for Patient Involvement – Central Denmark Region (DK) (https://ph.au.dk/en/research-centre-for-patient-involvement/) with its Deputy Lead, Dr Lotte Ørneborg Rodkjær and administrator Ditte Lucia Heldtberg (DITHEL@rm.dk). 


Hilary is a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society) and member of the international Society of Medical Decision Making. Her work is carried out in collaboration with health professionals, patients, health methodologists, and decision scientists to ensure research and educational outputs are robust, pragmatic and aligned to clinical and decision science best practice. She has sustained leadership roles in medical and health science undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and supervised over 30 health practitioner and social scientists undertaking doctorates.


Hilary’s research finds evidence for the components needed in interventions to support proactively patient involvement in healthcare. Hilary is an expert in Patient Decision Aid (PtDA) and shared decision making (SDM) intervention research within health systems. She carried out one of the first trials evaluating a patient decision aid used within a consultation as part of her doctorate in decision making and prenatal testing (Bekker, 1999), one of the first systematic reviews identifying interventions facilitating informed decision making by patients (Bekker et al, 1999), and is an expert contributor to research syntheses undertaken by the International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) collaboration, and shared decision making initiatives from NHS England and NICE.


Hilary uses a range of methods to investigate:

  • Factors to boost thinking about, or nudge, people’s healthcare decisions
  • Measures assessing patient and professional experiences of healthcare
  • Impact of interventions on patient and professional treatment decision making
  • Mechanisms between patient involvement interventions and healthcare outcomes


Outputs from her research partnerships include academic papers and dissemination (search Hilary Bekker via https://scholar.google.com/), measures and publically available resources such as:


PtDA - research-led resources:


PtDA & SDM – health service lead resources:

NHS Rightcare Shared Decision Making Programme 37 web-based, interactive Patient Decision Aid, and in-consultation brief, Shared Decision Making aids (2012-2017); editors by Margolis A, O’Donaghue D, Bekker HL, Tompson D, Laitner S (published by TotallyHealth Ltd, The BMJ Group, NHS Rightcare, 2011): Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA): Repair; Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA): screening; Acne; Birth options after previous caesarean section; Bladder cancer: High risk non muscle invasive; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Cataracts; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Depression; Diabetes – additional treatments to improve control; Diabetes – improving control; Diagnosis Down’s Edward’s and Patau’s Syndromes; Established kidney failure; Established kidney failure - Dialysis; Established kidney failure - Transplant; Gallstones; Glue ear; Heavy menstrual bleeding; High Blood Pressure; High Cholesterol; Inguinal hernia; Localised Prostrate Cancer; Lower Urinary tract Symptoms; Lung cancer; Obesity; Osteoarthritis: Hip; Osteoarthritis: Knee; Prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing; Rectal cancer: without distant spread; Recurrent sore throat; Rheumatoid arthritis; Smoking Cessation; Stable Angina; Stroke Prevention for Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter. Angina.

Self-report measures:

  • OPTIQ – Orthodontic Patient Treatment Impact Questionnaire (2020)
  • SHARED- a patient reported measure of Shared Decision Making (2014)
  • RoCAES – Reporting of Clinical Adverse Events Scale (2008)
  • 6-item short-form State Trait Anxiety Inventory (1992)


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