The Option GridTM
decision aids

What makes Option Grid™ decision aids unique?

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Option Grid™ decision aids are different from most other decision aids.

  • They are short—just one page—so that patients and clinicians can use them together.

  • They are flexible. Use them before, during, or after a visit, or even in combination with other tools that your organization may be using.

  • They are evidence-based and developed with patients. Option Grid™ decision aids use high quality evidence and are created by teams free of competing financial interests.

  • They are part of a larger toolkit that include measures and training.


How do they work?

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Option Grid™ decision aids for clinical encounters are one-page evidence-based tables that summarize treatment or screening options. Each is based on the latest research evidence available. The arrangement is important: The rows are questions that are based on the common concerns of patients. We call these 'frequently asked questions' (FAQs). The columns are composed of the options - alternative possible treatments, tests, or actions. Given that we try and keep each Option Grid decision aid very short, we typically only list a few options, and include those that are most relevant and reasonable to consider.

Option Grid decision aids are designed for use in clinical visits. There is no one way to use Option Grid decision aids. They have been designed so that you can use them in whatever way suits you.

Watch this short video to learn more! (you will be linked to Vimeo)


For Patients

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If you are a patient, you might like to review Option Grid decision aids that match your health issue ahead of your appointment. You can:

  • Download and print the grids as PDFs. Some patients like to make notes on the grids and bring them to their appointment.
  • Use the Interactive Option Grid decision aids on the website to explore your preferences. You can print a customized summary to take to your appointment to discuss with your clinician.

For Health Care Professionals

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If you are a clinician or health care professional, here is a suggested method for how you might use Option Grid™ decision aids for clinical encounters as a springboard for conversations with patients:

Explain It

    • Explain the layout: several options are described in the columns and FAQs are listed in the rows.
    • Explain that it's best to read across the rows, one at a time.

Give It

    • Ask if patients wish to read the grid on their own, or have it explained to them.
    • Create some space if the patient wishes to read the grid on their own--either do another task while the patient reads, or offer to leave the room for a period.
    • Offer the patient a pen or pencil to make notes and jot down questions.

Use It

    • Discuss the issues that the patient wishes to consider.
    • Offer the patient the chance to take the Option Grid decision aid home and discuss it with others.