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Design and development of a decision aid to enhance shared decision making by patients with an asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm

Authors Ubbink DT, Knops AM, Molenaar S, Goossens A

Published 2 November 2008 Volume 2008:2 Pages 315—322


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Dirk T Ubbink1,2, Anouk M Knops1, Sjaak Molenaar1, Astrid Goossens1

1Department of Quality Assurance and Process Innovation and 2Department of Surgery, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Objective: To design, develop, and evaluate an evidence-based decision aid (DA) for patients with an asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) to inform them about the pros and cons of their treatment options (ie, surgery or watchful observation) and to help them make a shared decision.

Methods: A multidisciplinary team defined criteria for the desired DA as to design, medical content and functionality, particularly for elderly users. Development was according to the international standard (IPDAS). Fifteen patients with an AAA, who were either treated or not yet treated, evaluated the tool.

Results: A DA was developed to offer information about the disease, the risks and benefits of surgical treatment and watchful observation, and the individual possibilities and threats based on the patient’s aneurysm diameter and risk profile. The DA was improved and judged favorably by physicians and patients.

Conclusion: This evidence-based DA for AAA patients, developed according to IPDAS criteria, is likely to be a simple, user-friendly tool to offer patients evidence-based information about the pros and cons of treatment options for AAA, to improve patients’ understanding of the disease and treatment options, and may support decision making based on individual values.

Keywords: decision support techniques, research design, program development, abdominal aortic aneurysm, decision making

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