Ottawa Decision Support Framework (ODSF)

The Ottawa Decision Support Framework (ODSF) conceptualizes the support needed by patients, families, and their practitioners for ‘difficult’ decisions with multiple options whose features are valued differently. It guides practitioners and researchers to assess participants’ decisional needs, provide decision support interventions (clinical counselling, patient decision tools, decision coaching) and evaluate their effects on decisional outcomes. It has been used to develop and evaluate over 50 patient decision aids, measures (Decisional Conflict Scale), and training in providing decision support.

The ODSF asserts that decision support interventions that address patients’ decisional needs improve the decisional outcomes: quality of the decision and decision making process, which may favourably affect implementation of chosen option and appropriate use of health services. A 2020 review of ODSF-based studies (>100 decisions, >50,000 patients, 18 countries, 5 continents) validated decisional needs listed below and showed that ODSF-based patient decision aids were superior to usual care in improving decision quality and reducing decisional needs. Further research is needed to study downstream impacts and to evaluate decision coaching. More details about the ODSF and its evaluation are found here.

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Resources that use the ODSF and References

Last modified: 2021-10-12.