Shared decision making is often used in situations of clinical equipoise—where there is no clear recommended course of management based on existing scientific evidence and the “right” decision depends on a patient’s values. In shared decision making, a patient and a provider deliberate healthcare options together by considering the risks and benefits for a decision based on a patient’s particular values and a provider’s medical expertise. Decision aids are tools to facilitate shared decision making. Most decision aids present essential health information, highlight that a decision must be made that depends on the values and preferences of the patient, list the options available, describe the potential benefits and harms of the various options, and help patients clarify their personal values.
Decision tools for healthcare professionals