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The Decision Making Support 

About: The Decision Making Support Tools offers a framework to make medical decisions. It provides a general outline to guide the user in decision making as well as more specific situation specific  decision making.

Rationale: Health and medical decisions are often difficult to make as there are many unique factors, and life and death consequences. The decisionmaking process is further complicated by:

  • lack of compelling evidence for many treatments  in medicine

  • the vast knowledge and information generated

  • the particular values and situation of the individual who is making decisions

  • psychological factor that influence the decision making process.

Uses: The Decision Making Support Tool is utilized to choose among various options that can be undertaken. It is guided by the psychological understanding of decision making and choice theory. In addition, “adult learning” principles are used in presenting difficult options in a user friendly manner. The Decision Making Support Tool can be used in the following situations:

  • Choice of insurance

  • Choice of medical team

  • Choices about  screening tests and procedure

  • Choice about treatments including medication, surgery, diets, activity

  • End of life

  • Immunization




A 65 YO male is  provided laboratory results indicating that the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is elevated and the physician recommends a biopsy. Using the The Decision Making Support Tool the individual reviews the “evidence”  (including cost) discusses the options with the clinician and other members of the Health Network and makes a choice.

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