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What information is used in treatment decision aids? A systematic review of the types of evidence populating health decision aids

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-16, 08:40 authored by Amanda CliffordAmanda Clifford, Jean Ryan, Cathal Dominic Walsh, Arlene Mc CurtinArlene Mc Curtin
Background: Patient decision aids (DAs) are support tools designed to provide patients with relevant information to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare.  While DAs can be effective in improving patient knowledge and decision quality, it is unknown what types of information and evidence are used to populate such decision tools. Methods: Systematic methods were used to identify and appraise the relevant literature and patient DAs published between 2006-2015. Six databases (Academic Search Complete, AMED, CINAHL, Biomedical Reference Collection, General Sciences and MEDLINE) and reference list searching were used. Articles evaluating the effectiveness of the DAs were appraised using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. The content, quality and sources of evidence in the decision aids were evaluated using the IPDASi-SF and a novel classification system. Findings were synthesised and a narrative analysis was performed on the results. Results: Thirteen studies representing ten DAs met the inclusion criteria. The IPDASI-SF score ranged from 9 to 16 indicating many of the studies met the majority of quality criteria. Sources of evidence were described but reports were sometimes generic or missing important information. The majority of DAs incorporated high quality research evidence including systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Patient and practice evidence was less commonly employed, with only a third of included DAs using these to populate decision aid content. The quality of practice and patient evidence ranged from high to low. Contextual factors were addressed across all DAs to varying degrees and covered a range of factors. Conclusions: This is an initial study examining the information and evidence used to populate DAs. While research evidence and contextual factors are well represented in included DAs, consideration should be given to incorporating high quality information representing all four pillars of evidence based practice when developing DAs. Further, patient and expert practice evidence should be acquired rigorously, DAs should report the means by which such evidence is obtained with citations clearly provided.



Bmc Medical Informatics And Decision Making;17:22


BioMed Central





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  • Allied Health

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