Translating Evidence to Facilitate Shared Decision Making: Development and Usability of a Consult Decision Aid Prototype

Patient. 2016 Dec;9(6):571-582. doi: 10.1007/s40271-016-0177-9.


Aim: The purpose of this study was to translate evidence from Cochrane Reviews into a format that can be used to facilitate shared decision making during the consultation, namely patient decision aids.

Methods: A systematic development process (a) established a stakeholder committee; (b) developed a prototype according to the International Patient Decision Aid Standards; (c) applied the prototype to a Cochrane Review and used an interview-guided survey to evaluate acceptability/usability; (d) created 12 consult decision aids; and (e) used a Delphi process to reach consensus on considerations for creating a consult decision aid.

Results: The 1-page prototype includes (a) a title specifying the decision; (b) information on the health condition, options, benefits/harms with probabilities; (c) an explicit values clarification exercise; and (d) questions to screen for decisional conflict. Hyperlinks provide additional information on definitions, probabilities presented graphically, and references. Fourteen Cochrane Consumer Network members and Cochrane Editorial Unit staff participated. Thirteen reported that it would help patient/clinician discussions and were willing to use and/or recommend it. Seven indicated the right amount of information, six not enough, and one too much. Changes to the prototype were more links to definitions, more white space, and details on GRADE evidence ratings. Creating 12 consult decision aids took about 4 h each. We identified ten considerations when selecting Cochrane Reviews for creating consult decision aids.

Conclusions: Using a systematic process, we developed a consult decision aid prototype to be populated with evidence from Cochrane Reviews. It was acceptable and easy to apply. Future studies will evaluate implementation of consult decision aids.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Decision Making*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Patient Participation*
  • Referral and Consultation*