Shared Decision Making: Tools and resources

On this page we have collated links to tools, guides and other practical resources to help health services implement shared decision making with their patients. The links and content of each category will be regularly updated as new resources are identified.

If you have any questions or want to suggest resources you think should be included in this Community of Practice, please email us.

Open access guides and templates

Ottawa Personal Decision Guide (OPDG)

  • The OPDG is a validated tool for supporting the decision making process. Once the information is completed in the guide, it then becomes a decision aid that meets the International Patient Decision Aid Standards.

Checklists and Standards

International Personal Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) checklist for decision aids

  • The IPDAS checklist is a set of criteria as international standards for measuring the quality of decision aids. The checklist was created by the IPDAS Collaboration.

Measuring shared decision making

The SURE test

  • The SURE test is a very simple tool of four questions based on the content of the Ottawa Personal Decision Guide. These questions can be asked of consumers to determine their level of decisional conflict.
  • France Légaré, et al. 2010. Are you SURE?: Assessing patient decisional conflict with a 4-item screening test. Canadian Family Physician.
  • Suzanne Brodney, et al. 2019. Comparison of Three Measures of Shared Decision Making: SDM Process_4, CollaboRATE, and SURE Scales. Medical Decision Making. Access here

Online training and education

Ottawa Decision Support Tutorial (Online)

  • This tutorial is free to complete and was designed to improve understanding of decision support for anyone involved in supporting patients make health decisions.

Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) shared decision making videos

  • The ACSQHC website has a collection of videos to help people understand shared decision making. Including:
    • Presentations of the 2014 symposium on shared decision making co-hosted by the ACSQHC and University of Sydney’s Centre for Medical Psychology and Evidence-Based Decision Making
    • A collection of presentations by Professor Dawn Stacey on decision aids and shared decision making
    • Animated videos on decision aids and shared decision making by Bond University.

Decision aid examples

The Decision Aid Library

  • The Decision Aid Library is curated by the Ottawa Health Research Institute, Ottawa University. The library is a good resource to see what decision aids have been developed, the different formats used and how the developers have approached meeting the International Patient Decision Aid Standards.

Other practical tools

Quick prompt communication guide for shared decision making (pilot resource) [PDF 96 KB]

  • This simple communication prompt was developed to support health professionals to familiarise themselves with the process of shared decision making. It is business card size and suitable to be worn in lanyards.

Communicating risk statistics - ‘Iconarray’

  • Knowing how to communicate probability statistics clearly for the different benefits and harms of options presented in a decision aid can be complex. One common approach for decision aids is to use a visual representation of probability that depicts how many people in 100 are impacted. If you want to test how this form of visual representation might work for users of your decision aids, the team at the University of Michigan’s Risk Science Center and Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine have created This website is an open access tool to help people create their own visual representation of likelihoods/likely outcomes. Please remember to use their citation if you do use it in your decision aid.