Patient decision aids are tools that help people make specific and deliberate choices about healthcare that take into account the best available evidence alongside patients’ values and preferences. Decision aids are a part of a shared decision making process, complementing but not replacing clinical counseling. They are best used when there is more than one reasonable option for care.
The International Patient Decision Aids Standards has a checklist of criteria to use when developing a high-quality decision aid. The National Quality Forum also has minimum standards for decision aids, and the SUNDAE checklist can help with reporting guidelines for publications evaluating decision aids.
Decision aids should be created with attention to health literacy principles. Please see this resource for developing a decision aid with these principles in mind. The Center for Health and Science Communication can provide consultations for those looking to simplify their materials.
The Sydney Health Literacy Lab (SHeLL) Editor can also help simplify materials into plain language.
Many people want to integrate their decision aids or decision support tools into practice. Washington University and BJC have a systematic process for doing so.
Please click here to learn more about the Washington University and BJC process for electronic health record (EHR) integration of clinical decision support to get started.
- Elwin, G., O’Connor, A.M., Bennett, C., et al. (2009) Assessing the quality of decision support technologies using the International Patient Decision Aid Standards instrument (IPDASi). PLoS ONE, 4(3):e4705. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004705
- Joseph-Williams, N., Newcombe, R., Politi, M., et al. (2014) Toward minimum standards for certifying patient decision aids: A modified Delphi consensus process. Medical Decision Making, 34(6):699-710. doi: 10.1177/0272989X13501721.
- National Equity Forum. (2016) National Standards for the Certification of Patient Decision Aids. National Quality Forum (NQF) Guidelines, ISBN 978-1-68248-030-4
- Holstetter, M. & Klein, S. (n.d.) Helping Patients Make Better Treatment Choices with Decision Aids. The Commonwealth Fund.
- Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. (2019) A to Z Inventory of Decision Aids. Patient Decision Aids. Updated June 2019.
- EBSCO. (n.d.) My Health Decisions | Shared Decision Making. EBSCO Information Services, Inc.
- Health Dialog. (n.d.) Health Dialog: Personalized Population Health. Rite Aid Corporation.
- Healthwise. (n.d.) Health Content and Patient Education Solutions. Healthwise Incorporated.
- Colorado Program for Patient Centered Decisions. (2019)IDECIDE: Better Conversations, Better Decisions. University of Colorado School of Medicine.
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021) Overview – Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit.Mayo Clinic. Updated June 2021.
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (n.d.) Care that fits. Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit.
- Center for Health Decision Science. (n.d.) Center for Health Decision Science. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
- MD Anderson Cancer Center. (2022) Decision Science Core Facility Resources. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
- University of Pittsburg Medical Center. (2022) Tools for Patients | Shared Decision Making. University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences.
- Sydney Health Literacy Lab. (2020). Sydney Health Literacy Lab. University of Sydney. Updated August 2020.