A decision aid (DA) is an intervention that provides information on the clinical options and outcomes relevant to the person’s health. It is designed to help people make specific choices about different options for their health care by providing information on the clinical options and outcomes relevant to the person’s health.
Decision aids are explicit about choices and encourage consumers to express their preference in clinical situations when there are different options. Decision aids are unbiased and non-directive and aim to support an informed choice consistent with healthcare values and preferences which may be acted on. They are designed to be adjuncts to the patient-physician interaction.
Decision aids have received much support in the literature. A Cochrane Review of the impact of Decision Aids has recently been updated and is now available (O’Connor et al 2003).
Cancer screening decision aids
This decision aid has been developed for Australian men and women aged 55- 64 years who want to know more information about the possible benefits and harms of bowel cancer screening. It summarises the best available research evidence about faecal occult blood testing, a screening test recommended for people at average risk of bowel cancer that looks for blood that you cannot see in your bowel motions as a possible early sign of bowel cancer.
There are 2 booklets, 1 for men and 1 for women.
This decision aid was designed as part of the IMAP Study (Improving Management of Abnormal Pap Smears), a randomised trial of different management strategies for women with a mildly abnormal (borderline or ASCUS) Pap smear. The information included in the decision aid was current between 2004-2007. There is now new evidence to support decision making for women in this group which is not included in this booklet. This booklet should not be used to guide decision making for the management of mildly abnormal Pap smears.