How to use patient decision aids
This paper briefly describes the stages in using a patient decision aid in a consultation and advice on how to present statistics relating to risk.
The five steps it sets out to using a patient decision aid are:
- Describe the clinical condition (e.g. atrial fibrillation)
- Describe the treatment options (e.g. no treatment, aspirin, or warfarin) and outline the dilemma (all have risks and benefits, and different patients view the risks differently)
- Offer a further, more detailed discussion. Some patients are content with the healthcare professional deciding, some prefer a joint decision, others wish the healthcare professional to provide the information but wish to make the decision themselves
- Work through the PDA, explaining the images and adjusting for baseline risk if required
- Allow the patient time to consider what they wish to do. They may wish to take away a copy of the PDA and discuss it with family or friends
It includes helpful advice on how to present data so that the patient has a balanced view of the potential benefits and harms. This includes a chart and form of words.