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.