NICE process and methods

6 Writing the decision aid

6 Writing the decision aid

The lead author drafts the decision aid in accordance with the scope. The diverse nature of topics covered by NICE decision aids means that a formal template cannot be specified. For externally commissioned decision aids, the format or template is agreed with the commissioning organisation. The lead author drafts the decision aid such that its content meets at least the essential standards of the standards framework for shared-decision-making support tools, including patient decision aids. The decision aid will usually include the following information:

  • an explanation of the intended audience and context of the decision aid.

  • sufficient information about the condition or health problem and the aims of treatment or care options to orient readers

  • a summary of the options, including the option of having no treatment or not changing what the person is currently doing.

  • a description of the possible harms, benefits and consequences of the options. This will usually involve a visual representation of the chance of benefits or harms.

  • support to help the person think about which of the risks, benefits and possible consequences of the options matter most to them and communicate these with others.

Other information may be included as appropriate to the topic. NICE decision aids are focussed on supporting informed decision making about options; they do not contain background information on the condition or health problem beyond that necessary to orient users.