Patient Decision Aids

Patient decision aids are tools that help patients, care-givers and families become involved in decision making around difficult health care issues. They are designed to complement, rather than replace, the advice given by a health care practitioner.

In partnership with the the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, we have identified and assessed the quality of various patient decision aids available online and present these to you with our 5-star rating.

Recently rated web resources

  • A new tool to help you lose weight

    Evidence-based Living

    Research shows that it might be helpful to track the food that you eat and exercise that you do in a day to help you lose weight. Both written and electronic tools can help.

  • What we know about fasting for weight loss

    Evidence-based Living

    Intermittent fasting is when you alternate days of eating a lot and eating a little, or when you do not eat for 12 to 15 hours a day. Intermittent fasting might help you lose weight, but could cause problems for people with certain health conditions or medications.

  • Which is better for weight loss — cutting calories or increasing exercise?

    Mayo Clinic

    Changing your diet to eat less calories seems to cause weight loss more effectively than doing exercise. Both are important parts of weight loss. Do not drastically reduce the amount of food that you are eating.

  • Weight loss: Ready to change your habits?

    Mayo Clinic

    This web page provides some questions that you can use to discover if you are ready to lose weight. If you would like to lose weight but are not ready, you can use these questions explore what is holding you back.

  • Exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness

    Mayo Clinic

    Exercise is important for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility and lowers joint pain. You can try range-of-motion, strengthening, or aerobic exercises. Talk to your doctor about adding exercise into your treatment plan.

Excluded websites

We don't rate every resource we find on the web that relates to optimal aging. In some cases, entire health-related websites are excluded from what to evaluate in detail. In order to be rated, a Web Resource must:

  • be relevant to optimal aging;
  • come from websites that are free to access; and
  • not be directly funded by a company trying to sell you a product or service.

If you cannot find a website or Web Resource that you are looking for, check out our list of excluded websites. If you still can’t find it, let us know; we may have missed it!

DISCLAIMER: Web Resource Ratings are provided for informational purposes only and to facilitate discussions with your healthcare providers, family members, or informal care givers. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professionals. The Portal is not responsible for the content of external websites, nor is it an endorsement of that website or the site’s owners (or their products/services). The Web Resource Ratings may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

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