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Quick reference guide to the DISCERN criteria

This quick guide should only be used once you are familiar with the full DISCERN questionnaire.

A high quality publication about treatment choices will:

  • have explicit aims
  • achieve its aims
  • be relevant to consumers
  • make sources of information explicit
  • make date of information explicit
  • be balanced and unbiased
  • list additional sources of information
  • refer to areas of uncertainty
  • describe how treatment works
  • describe the benefits of treatment
  • describe the risks of treatment
  • describe what would happen without treatment
  • describe the effects of treatment choices on overall quality of life
  • make it clear that there may be more than one possible treatment choice
  • provide support for shared decision-making.