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

  • Umbilical Hernia: Should I Have Surgery?


    This patient decision aid helps people with an umbilical hernia decide on whether to have surgery now or take a wait-and-see approach by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.

  • Surgery Choices for Women with DCIS or Breast Cancer


    This patient decision aid helps women with early stage breast cancer to decide on surgery choices. It facilitates the process by outlining and comparing the three options: breast-sparing surgery followed by radiation therapy, mastectomy, and mastectomy with breast reconstruction surgery.

  • Stroke: Should I Move My Loved One Into Long-Term Care?


    This patient decision aid helps individuals with a loved one who has had a stroke decide on whether to care for the loved one at home or move them into a long-term care home by comparing the benefits, risks and side effects of both options.

  • Sore throat: Should I take antibiotics?


    This patient decision aid helps people with a sore throat caused by a bacterial infection decide on whether or not to take antibiotics by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.

  • Prostate Cancer Decision Aid for early-stage Patients


    This patient decision aid helps men diagnosed with low or intermediate-risk early stage prostate cancer decide on a treatment option by outlining and comparing the risks and benefits of each option.

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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