More and more often, people are taking an active role in their health care by sharing health decisions with their doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. This is called shared decision making. Shared decision making means that people/patients need to understand the risks and benefits of different options, and health care professionals need to understand what is important to different people/patients. What is important to one person may not be what is important to another, even if they have the same health condition. Explaining complicated risks and benefits in a way that people can easily understand is hard. It is also hard to help people sort out what is important to them in a health decision that has no perfect option. In this research program, I will start by listening to how health care professionals do this now. Then I will test different ways of using technology like websites to see if we can improve on existing practices.
Finally, I will develop an application that can be used on the web, on a smartphone or on a tablet that will help patients and health care professionals talk about risks, benefits and identify what is most important to each patient.