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Table 1 Summary of findings attributes of the choice: results in intervention group (IG) as compared with control group (CG) (n = 15)a

From: Decision aids to help older people make health decisions: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Short title


Risk perception

Informed choice

Fraenkel (2012) [31]

More knowledge of medications for reducing stroke risk.

More accurate estimates for risk of stroke and bleeding.


More knowledge of adverse effects (marginally significant).b

Hanson (2011) [32]

More knowledge about dementia and feeding options.b

Fewer expected benefits from tube feeding.


Jones (2009) [33]

More knowledge about statins and risk for coronary events, interacting with mode of delivery: Compared with the CG (pamphlet), patients whose clinicians delivered the decision aid during the office visit (IG2) showed significant more improvements in knowledge than when a researcher delivered the decision aid just before the office visit (IG1).



Man-Son-Hing (1999) [35]

More knowledge about stroke, atrial fibrillation, treatment and consequences.b

More correct quantitative estimates of stroke and bleeding risk when taking asparin or warfarin.b


Mathers (2012) [36]

More knowledge about the treatment option that is most effective in reducing blood glucose level.b

More realistic expectations on the risk of hypoglycaemia, gaining weight and development of complications.b


Mathieu (2007) [37]

More knowledge.


A greater percentage of the IG women made an informed choice.

McAlister (2005) [38]


More realistic estimates of the potential benefits and risks of warfarin and ASA (i.e. regarding biannual stroke risk in very-high-risk patients, RRR and biannual bleeding risk with warfarin and ASA).


Montori (2011) [39]

More knowledge.b

More likely to correctly identify the 10-year fracture risk and to identify the estimated risk reduction with bisphosphonates.b


Partin (2004) [40]

More knowledge in both IG1 (video) and IG2 (pamphlet) on prostate cancer natural history, treatment efficacy, and expert disagreement (the latter was higher in IG1 as compared to IG2).



No more knowledge on PSA accuracy.

Partin (2006) [41]

More prostate cancer screening knowledge in both IG1 (video) and IG2 (pamphlet).



Stirling (2012) [42]

More dementia knowledge according to authors (however p = .15, possibly due to small sample size).b



Thomson (2007) [44]

Knowledge about warfarin improved in both the IG (decision aid) and CG (guidelines) post-clinic, but declined again in both groups by three months.



No impact of either decision aid or guidelines on knowledge about aspirin. b

Volandes (2009a) [45]

Knowledge scores increased for patients in both groups post intervention; however, the changes were higher in the IG (narrative plus video) than in the CG (narrative-alone).



The change in knowledge scores was also higher for surrogates in the IG group.

Weymiller (2007) [48]

IG1 and IG2 (decision aid) and CG (pamphlet) scored similarly on knowledge.

Patients allocated to receive the interventions from their clinician during the visit (IG2) achieved better knowledge scores when using the decision aid than when using the control pamphlet (IG2); this effect was significantly greater than the effect of the decision aid vs the control pamphlet in patients allocated to receive the interventions from the researcher before the visit (IG1/CG1).

IG1 and IG2 (decision aid) were more likely to accurately estimate the potential absolute risk reduction afforded by statin use than CG (pamphlet).

Patients allocated to receive the interventions from the clinicians during the visit (IG2) were most accurate when reporting the relevant cardiovascular risk without statins when using the decision aid than when using the pamphlet (IG2); this effect was significantly greater than the effect of the decision aid vs the control pamphlet in patients allocated to receive the interventions from the researchers (IG1/CG1).


Wolf (2000) [49]


IG was able to gauge more accurately the positive FOBT predictive value of screening for getting cancer than CG. There was no difference in correct response rates between IG1 and IG2.

There were also significant differences between IG1, IG2 and CG in the perceived efficacy of screening in reducing CRC mortality. CG rated the efficacy of screening higher than IG1 (relative risk reduction information), who rated it higher than IG2 (absolute risk reduction information).b


  1. n.m. = not measured; IG = intervention group; CG = control group
  2. aUnless otherwise stated are the described results effects in the intervention group (IG) as compared to the control group (CG); see Additional file 2 for description of the CG intervention. Standard font indicates positive results (p < .05 unless otherwise stated) in favour of the IG; italic font indicates no significant results
  3. bIncluded in meta-analysis