Right choice, right time: Evaluation of an online decision aid for youth depression

Magenta B Simmons, Aurora Elmes, Joanne E. McKenzie, Lyndal Trevena, Sarah E. Hetrick

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Appropriate treatment for youth depression is an important public health priority. Shared decision making has been recommended, yet no decision aids exist to facilitate this. Objectives: The main objective of this study was to evaluate an online decision aid for youth depression. Design: An uncontrolled cohort study with pre-decision, immediately post-decision and follow-up measurements. Setting and Participants: Young people (n=66) aged 12-25 years with mild, mild-moderate or moderate-severe depression were recruited from two enhanced primary care services. Intervention: Online decision aid with evidence communication, preference elicitation and decision support components. Main outcome measures: The main outcome measures were ability to make a decision; whether the decision was in line with clinical practice guidelines, personal preferences and values; decisional conflict; perceived involvement; satisfaction with decision; adherence; and depression scores at follow-up. Results: After using the decision aid, clients were more likely to make a decision in line with guideline recommendations (93% vs 70%; P=.004), were more able to make a decision (97% vs 79%; P=.022), had significantly reduced decisional conflict (17.8 points lower (95% CI: 13.3-22.9 points lower) on the Decisional Conflict Scale (range 0-100)) and felt involved and satisfied with their decision. At follow-up, clients had significantly reduced depression symptoms (2.7 points lower (95% CI: 1.3-4.0 points lower) on the Patient Health Questionnaire nine-item scale (range 0-27)) and were adherent to 88% (95% CI: 82%-94%) of treatment courses. Discussion and Conclusions: A decision aid for youth depression can help ensure evidence-based, client-centred care, promoting collaboration in this often difficult to engage population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Adolescents
  • Depression
  • Patient decision aids
  • Shared decision making
  • Young adults

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