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Quick reference guide to the DISCERN criteria

A good quality publication about treatment choices will:

  1. Have explicit aims
  2. Achieve its aims
  3. Be relevant to consumers
  4. Make sources of information explicit
  5. Make date of information explicit
  6. Be balanced and unbiased
  7. List additional sources of information
  8. Refer to areas of uncertainty
  9. Describe how treatment works
  10. Describe the benefits of treatment
  11. Describe the risks of treatment
  12. Describe what would happen without treatment
  13. Describe the effects of treatment choices on overall quality of life
  14. Make it clear there may be more than one possible treatment choice
  15. Provide support for shared decision-making

This guide should only be used once you are acquainted with the full DISCERN instrument.