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Are decision aids reliable?

How reliable are the different decision aids? A good decision aid is based on scientific
research. Therefore, you may assume that it is reliable.

Several organisations, such as Ipdas and Credible, publish lists that describe how complete
the decision aids are. Other organisations use indicators that describe the quality of the
decision aids.

Although there are several quality indicators, please involve your doctor when you use a
decision aid.

Are decision aids independent? 

Most decision aids are made in the context of scientific research. In these cases, the
decisions aids are made by researchers who work at universities or governmental
institutions. Often, several physicians are involved. In these cases you can assume that
the decision aids give impartial and valid advice.

Sometimes, however, the decision aids are made by health insurance companies or by other
commercial companies. In these cases, you should be aware of the interests that the
organizations may have.

The newest treatments and the latest scientific insights

In medical science, time never stands still. Every day, new treatments are developed and
new scientific insights arise. Thus, some decision aids may not contain all possible
treatment methods. Besides, a decision aid can be less applicable to today, because
scientists have acquired new insights recently. Please discuss the decision aid with your
doctor to find out if it is still up to date.

Larger responsibility for the patient

Larger involvement and more competence of the patient in decision making lead to a larger
responsibility. Thus, you will have to assess the quality of the decision aids yourself.
Please check their reliability by looking at when they were made and by whom. Another way
to check the reliability of the decision aids is by presenting them to your doctor.

The role of Med-Decs

Med-Decs provides links to various European and global decision aids. Although we have made
a selection and have tried to monitor the quality in this way, the quality of the decision
aids may vary. Med-Decs does not provide any guarantees about the decision aids and cannot
be held liable for possible damage resulting from the use of the decision aids. Med-Decs is
only a database for decision aids.