New shared-decision aid for high users of health care services and their care teams

A research article entitled “High Users of Healthcare Services: Development and Alpha Testing of a Patient Decision Aid for Case Management” has been published on a new shared-decision aid for frequent users of health care services and their care teams. The article was created under the leadership of Marie-Eve Poitras as part of component 2B of the Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec demonstration project. Patient partners, recruited and trained by our Patient-Public Partnership team, and specialists from our Knowledge Translation and Methodological Developments teams contributed.

High users of health services may have access to a case management program. This type of program can benefit users in several ways, such as reducing the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations and allowing better self-management of their condition. For some, choosing whether or not to participate in a case management program can be difficult. A decision aid can provide a balanced perspective on the options and their advantages and disadvantages, supporting users in their decision.

Objective of the study

The objective of this study was to develop a tool for users with complex needs and the teams that guide them in shared decisions. An alpha test was then conducted to measure the acceptability of the aid. The decision aid was co-developed with a user-centred design and following the guidelines of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and international frameworks for decision aid standards.


The three rounds of testing of the acceptability of the decision aid produced comments regarding the aid’s simplicity, readability and visual appeal. A clinical vignettes section with fictional patient stories was identified as the most useful.

This decision aid has the potential to help high-use patients with complex care needs to make better case management choices.