Multimedia and web based decision aids examples


These tools can help patients become more involved in the decision making about their own care, they can appear in a variety of formats such as leaflets, mobile devices and online. They help the patient understand their condition or illness and present the different options available to them.


  • Patient decision aids, whether online and multimedia or not have been shown to give patients a more participatory role in securing, effective, safe, responsive, and quality healthcare
  • Videos and online information are used to support decision making around cancer
  • Clinician support can help increase patient safety
  • An example of a web based MMR vaccination decision aid pilot in the UK
  • Patient decision aid pilots such as this example have taken place with good results in terms of patient satisfaction in the UK
  • A rigorously assessed library of decision aids including many multimedia or online examples is available from the Ottawa Health Research Institute
  • An example of an ICTRI backed piece of current UK research around decision support for ambulance staff
  • The NHS Institute is supporting informed decisions in urology and knee surgery

Benefits and advantages

  • Improved quality of decision, increased satisfaction
  • Feelings of empowerment and involvement increased
  • Expectations of involvement and participation may be satisfied

Risks and disadvantages

  • Poorly designed decision aids may lead to ill informed decisions
  • Low awareness of decision aids may lead to poor uptake
  • Needs buy in from patient and clinician in order to be effective
  • Often time and resource intensive to develop fully