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.

How are the decision aids developed?

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Teams of editors gather the highest quality evidence possible, including from systematic reviews whenever possible, or from high-quality clinical guidelines. Teams typically include clinical experts, researchers, and patients. Patients are consulted at multiple steps during the development process, and user testing is conducted to make sure that the Option Grid decision aid makes sense to patients. Once complete, all Option Grid decision aids and evidence documents are published online, can be downloaded at no cost, and can be used by patients, clinicians, and family members alike. 


We make sure they meet the emerging 'minimum standards' which are being developed by the International Patient Decision Aids Standards Collaboration.

What about competing interests?

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We take care to make sure that editors who make Option Grid™ decision aids are as unbiased as possible and free from competing industry ties. The Option Grid Collaborative defines a "competing" interest as a "financial interest related to a medication, device, guideline, or procedure mentioned in, or otherwise relevant to, an Option Grid of which [an individual is], or propose[s] to be, an editor, which interest is held by [such individual], any of [such individual's] close family members (spouse or domestic partner or dependent children), or any entity in which [such individual] or any of [such individual's] close family members has a [10%] or greater ownership interest." To read the full policy, click here.

Any individual who has a competing interest at the time he or she applies to become an Option Grid™ decision aid editor, or who had a competing interest within 2 years prior to such time, will not be eligible to serve as an editor. In addition, any individual who develops a competing interest after becoming an editor shall no longer be entitled to continue to serve as an editor.

Editors are required to disclose competing interests prior to becoming an editor, immediately before their Option Grid™ decision aid is published, and upon re-publication of their Option Grid™ decision aid. They are also required to disclose any competing interests that arise at any other time during their service as an editor.

Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the International Option Grid Action Group (IOGA) in its sole discretion. If an exception is granted, it will be disclosed on the relevant Option Grid™ decision aid.

Can I translate, modify, or make my own Option Grid™ decision aid?

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Option Grid™ decision aids for clinical encounters are published under a Creative Commons license referenced on the bottom of each tool. Generally speaking, the Option Grid decision aids may be used only for non-commercial purposes with attribution given to the appropriate editors. The Option Grid decision aids may not be modified or otherwise adapted by the user. This includes translation. The Option Grid decision aid name with design is a registered trademark. As such, we do not allow it to be used without the express permission of the Option Grid Collaborative.

Option Grid™ decision aids can only be created in consultation with the Option Grid Management Team according to our established working processes. To get started, fill out the request form. We look forward to hearing from you.