There has been increasing interest in the use of "decision aids", defined as adjuncts to the discussions clinicians have with patients during deliberations about decisions: these aids provide information about options and help clarify personal values. These adjuncts range from leaflets through face to face methods such as coaching or counselling to interactive multimedia websites. To describe this generic family of clinician-patient interventions we will use the term decision support technologies (DSTs), corresponding with the internationally recognised need to assess the impact of "health technologies."
The International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) Collaboration has led to the development of a quality checklist and, more recently, an instrument to assess the quality of decision support interventions. We recognize that further work is required to examine the relationships between International Patient Decision Aid Standards instrument (IPDASi) scores and the outcomes achieved in clinical trials.