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

A research paper entitled High Users of Healthcare Services: Development and Alpha Testing of a Patient Decision Aid for Case Management has been published about a new shared decision support tool for high users of healthcare services and their care teams. The article was produced under the leadership of Marie-Eve Poitras as part of Component 2B of the Québec SPOR Support Unit’s demonstration project. Patient partners, recruited and trained by our Patient-Public Partnership team, and specialists from our Knowledge Translation and Methodological Development teams contributed to the article. A case management program can be used by high users of health services. This type of program can lead to several benefits for the user, such as a reduction in the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations, as well as better self-management of their condition. Deciding whether or not to participate in such a program can be difficult for some. A decision support tool provides a balanced presentation of the options and their advantages and disadvantages, thus supporting the user in making a 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.


  • Implementation and change management
  • Patient-Public-Organizational Partnership
  • Complementary Expertise