A decision aid gives support in making decisions about medical treatments. A good decision aid informs the patient about the suitable treatment options.
Each disease has its own decision aid(s)
For correct use of the decision aids, you should only use the ones that are meant specifically for your disease. Thus, the disease that has been diagnosed by your doctor must be exactly the same as the disease that is described in the decision aid(s). Please always consult your doctor if you hesitate whether a decision aid is appropriate for your specific situation.
A good decision aid shows all possible outcomes of the treatment. Ideally, the treatment cures the disease and solves all the problems. However, almost all treatments can have adverse effects and sometimes risks. These undesired outcomes should be mentioned in the decision aids. They must be clearly stated. In this way, you can consider yourself what medical treatment you prefer.
A good decision aid shows the probability of adverse effects. The more likely and more severe the adverse effects are, the less attractive the treatments will be. Therefore, it is important that the information is balanced, so that the patient can weigh things up himself and make his own decision about the medical treatments.
The treatment procedure describes what the medical treatment entails. For example, it provides information about how often you will have to visit the hospital, how long the treatment will last and how long you will have to be hospitalized. The treatment procedure is often described in widely available patient leaflets. In addition, your doctor can explain exactly what the medical treatment entails.