Professor Hilary L Bekker

Professor Hilary L Bekker


Hilary is a Professor of Medical Decision Making at the Institute of Health Sciences - School of Medicine, University of Leeds (UK) and the Research Unit of Patient Involvement Interventions, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University (DK); she leads the Research Centre for Patient Involvement, Central Denmark Region (

Hilary joined the School of Medicine in 2001 as a Lecturer in Behavioural Science, and was awarded a personal Chair in Medical Decision Making in 2016. Her preceding academic career included three psychology degrees (BSc 1990, MSc 1994, PhD 1999), five fixed-term employment contracts (psychology assistant, research assistant, teaching fellow, 1988-1999), and one Health Psychology lectureship (1999-2001). She has led and delivered psychology applied to health courses on undergraduate and postgraduate nursing, midwifery, medical, psychology and health science degrees since the 1990s at University College London, University of York and University of Leeds. Hilary is a Chartered Psychologist (BPS, 1999), and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2004).




  • Lead for Student Education - LIHS
  • Head of Year 1 MBChB

Research interests

Her research investigates how patient and professionals make healthcare decisions, what factors boost or bias their judgments, and which interventions support multiple stakeholders to Make Informed Decisions Individually and Together (MIND-IT, Bekker 2015). She draws on a mix of methods from the decision sciences, health psychology and health services research to design, implement and evaluate these complex interventions facilitating patient involvement in healthcare. Her work is carried out in partnership with others (e.g. health professionals, health service methodologists, patients) ensuring research outputs are robust, pragmatic and aligned to clinical and decision science best practice. Outputs include peer-reviewed publications, decision aids, staff training resources, and self-report measures.

Hilary provides expert guidance on Patient Decision Aid and Shared Decision Making standards to national and international organisations such as: International Patient Decision Aids Standards (IPDAS) collaboration (2003+); National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2009+); NHS Right Care Shared Decision Making programme (2010-2015); Kidney Disease International Global Outcomes (2013-2014). She served on committees for the Society of Medical Decision Making (2016-2019), Research for Patient Benefit (NIHR; 2014-2016), and Division of Health Psychology-BPS (1996-2004). Other types of deliverables from these collaborations include:

Patient Decision Aids 

NHS Rightcare Shared Decision Making Programme 37 Patient Decision Aids: Web-based, interactive patient decision aids, and in-consultation brief, shared decision making aids by TotallyHealth Ltd, The BMJ Group (2012-2017);  editors Margolis A, O’Donaghue D, Bekker HL, Tompson D, Laitner S; 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 Questionnaires:

  • OPTIQ – Orthodontic Patient Treatment Impact Questionnaire (2020)
  • SHARED - a Patient Experience Shared Decision Making Questionnaire (2013)
  • RoCAES – Reporting of Clinical Adverse Events Scale (2008)
  • 6-item short-form state scale of the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (1992)



  • PhD (1999) Decision Making and Prenatal Testing
  • MSc (1994) Health Psychology
  • BSc-1st Class (1990) Psychology
  • Chartered Psychologist BPS (1999)
  • Fellow Higher Education Academy (2004)

Professional memberships

  • Higher Education Academy (2001+)
  • Society of Medical Decision Making (2000+)
  • British Psychological Society (1990+)
  • Division of Health Psychology-BPS (1996+)
  • International Shared Decision Making Society (2019+)

Student education

Co-Chair ENQUIRE Strand MBChB (2020-2025)

Previous leadership roles include: Lead for Student Education LIHS (2017-2020); Head of Year 1 MBChB (2013-2020); Co-Lead Individuals and Population year 1 MBChB Co-Leader (2001-2017); Postgradaute Research Student Lead (LIHS-SoM, 2001-2005); Research, Evaluation and Special Studies MBChB (LIHS, 2001-2005); the design, delivery and assessment of undergraduate and postgraduate specialist modules in health psychology and medical decision making to health professionals and social scientists (1999-2005).

Research groups and institutes

  • Psychological and Social Medicine
  • Maternal, child and family health

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>