Does the use of a visualised decision board by undergraduate students during shared decision-making enhance patients' knowledge and satisfaction? – A randomised controlled trial




Aim of this RCT was to evaluate whether the added use of a decision board (DB) during shared decision-making improves patients' knowledge as for different treatment options and overall satisfaction with the consultation.


Forty-nine undergraduate students were trained in shared decision-making (SDM) and evaluated by an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). According to their test results, all participants were randomly allocated to either the test- (DB) or the control-group (Non-DB). Both groups performed SDM with patients showing a defect in a posterior tooth (Class-II defect). Prior to the interview, patients of the DB group were given the decision aid for review. In the Non-DB group, patients were consulted without additional aids. After treatment decision, a questionnaire was completed by all patients to measure knowledge (costs, survival rate, characteristics and treatment time) and overall satisfaction with the consultation. Fifty DB patients and 31 Non-DB patients completed the questionnaire.


DB patients (= 50) demonstrated a statistically significant increase in knowledge compared to the Non-DB group (= 31) (Mann–Whitney U-test; DB group = 10.04; Non-DB group = 4.16; = 0.004). There was no significant difference between groups regarding satisfaction with the consultation (t-test; > 0.05).


During the shared decision-making process, the use of a decision board yielding information about Class-II treatment options leads to a significantly higher patient knowledge compared to knowledge gained through consultation alone. It is therefore desirable to provide DBs for dental diagnoses with several treatment options to increase transparency for the patient.