Safety and Quality > Our Work > Shared Decision Making > Patient Decision Aids

The Commission is developing a series of patient decision aids to support health services and clinicians to engage with patients as partners in their own care.

Patient decision aids are tools that provide high quality, synthesised information about particular conditions. They can help patients and clinicians compare the risks and benefits of treatment options, clarify what matters most to the patient and make a shared decision about what is the best option for the individual.

Using a patient decision aid can be particularly helpful when there is more than one reasonable treatment option, when no option has a clear advantage in terms of health outcomes, or when each option has benefits and harms that patients may value differently.

Current research on patient decision aids shows that when patients use decision aids they:

  • improve their knowledge of the options
  • feel clearer about what matters most to them
  • have more accurate expectations of possible benefits and harms of their options
  • participate more in decision making.

Download our infographic about the benefits of patient decision aids.

Antibiotic use patient decision aids

The Commission has produced three patient decision aids on antibiotic use for sore throat, acute bronchitis and middle ear infection in children in primary care:

Patient decision aid – sore throat (PDF 84KB) (Word 789KB)

Patient decision aid – acute bronchitis (PDF 89KB) (Word 779KB)

Patient decision aid – middle ear infection (PDF 89KB) (Word 797KB).

Note: These patient decision aids are designed to be used by clinicians with patients in the clinical consultation.

Resources to support the release and uptake of patient decision aids are also in development.