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Stage of Decision Making

‘Stage of Decision Making’ refers to the individual’s readiness to engage in decision making, progress in making a choice, and receptivity to considering or re-considering options. Although bearing some conceptual similarity to ‘stage of change’, it differs in two ways. First, the stages of decision making are elicited in finer detail to more precisely capture willingness to consider and re-consider options. This is important because a person’s response to decision supporting interventions (e.g. decision aids) will depend on the degree to which they are receptive. Moreover, the approach a person takes in counseling or coaching can be tailored to stage. For example, a coach may gently confirm that a person’s choice is informed and values-based if the person has already made up their minds; in contrast, a person in the earlier stage of decision making usually benefits from more detailed information about options and values clarification.

Second, for values-based decisions, reasonable options do not involve change (e.g. forgoing amniocentesis, hormones for menopause, choosing watchful waiting for prostate problems). Therefore the goals in decision support involve progressing through stages of decision making, but not necessarily stages of change. (O'Connor, 2003)

You may use any of these measurement tools without requesting permission. These tools are protected by copyright but are freely available for you to use, provided you: a) cite the reference in any questionnaires or publications; b) do not charge for or profit from them; and c) do not alter them except for adding a specific condition/decision as necessary.

Last modified: 2015-04-15.