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Values-based Practice

Values-based practice (VBP) is a new approach to working with complex and conflicting values in healthcare that is:

  • Complementary to other approaches to working with values such as ethics (medicine’s values tool box) in focusing on individual values
  • A partner to evidence-based practice in supporting clinical judgment in individual cases

VBP thus links science with the unique values of the particular people involved (as clinicians, patients, carers and others) in a given clinical decision.

VBP builds on a premise of mutual respect to support balanced decision making through a ten-part process covering clinical skills, professional relationships, links with evidence-based practice and partnership.

Point, Premise and Process

  • The point of VBP: rather than giving us answers as such, VBP aims to support balanced decision-making within frameworks of shared values appropriate to the situation in question
  • The premise of VBP: the basis for balanced decision making in VBP is the premise of mutual respect for differences of values
  • The process of VBP: VBP supports decision making through good process rather than prescribing preset right outcomes. There are ten key elements of the process of VBP covering clinical skills, professional relationships and the inter-relationship of science (evidence-based practice) and VBP, as well as dissensus in partnership in decision making