Med-Decs aims at informing patients about the different options for medical treatments. Nowadays, many patients are capable to weigh the different options themselves and to participate in choosing the best medical treatment. We see this as a positive development, but in our opinion it is still in its infancy. Med-Decs aims at increasing the patient's participation by stimulating the use of decision aids. Our role is to collect and organize all European and worldwide medical decision aids.
Variety in the decision aids
In recent years, the number of decision aids for patients on the Internet has increased tremendously. Med-Decs collects these decision aids and sorts them by disease. Although we make a first selection, we are no quality inspectors. Therefore, Med-Decs is under no circumstances liable for the contents of the decision aids.
The importance of patient participation in medical treatment
Several studies have shown that increasing the patient's participation in the choice of the treatment decreases the concerns of patients. In addition, expensive treatments are chosen less often. Doctors can inform their patients about the use of the decision aids. In this way, patients can use the aids to get insight in their disease and to explore the different treatment options.
Advantages of the use of decision aids
Research has shown that the use of decision aids:
- increases the number of people that make a decision
- increases knowledge needed to decide
- gives patients a better and more accurate picture of the actual risks
- makes decisions easier and less uncertain
- does not increase feelings of anxiety and regret, while hope remains
- leads to fewer choices for intensive treatments, such as larger surgeries
Much scientific research has been done involving patients. The information from this research is relevant for patients to choose between medical treatments. Med-Decs wants to give this information to patients in an open, honest and transparent manner. So, knowledge about patients to patients.
A European project
Med-Decs is a European project and is still in development. That is why, besides English decision aids you will find decision aids from other countries. Med-Decs has been developed by Peep Stalmeier (site owner) in collaboration with scientists who are committed to shared decision making between doctor and patient.