Every day, millions of patients face “tough” health
care decisions with multiple options that have benefits and harms
people value differently:
or lumpectomy for breast cancer?
or medical treatment for enlarged prostates, chronic back pain,
or home care for a family member with dementia?
or behavioural treatment for attention deficit disorder?
Hormones for severe hot flashes and night sweats?
End-of-life care for people with advanced lung disease?
accessible, evidence-based patient decision support using telehealth
is becoming an invaluable way to help prepare patients for informed
discussion about treatment options in an age when time is limited
for in-person patient-physician interactions.
“decision aids” are tools that prepare patients for shared decision
making with their health professional. They include up-to-date scientific
information, help for clarifying a patient’s personal values, examples
of how other patients made similar decisions and guidance in decision
using decision aids participate more, know more about alternatives
and choose treatments with features they value most. Decision aids
also make the best use of health care dollars by reducing the over-use
of aggressive, expensive options that many informed patients don’t
aids are being made available at no cost to patients over the Internet
and used in conjunction with counsel from their physician, or combined
with decision support delivered via call centres with qualified
learn more and access decision aids, visit www.ohri.ca/decisionaid