Decisional Balance Worksheet

Get access to a free Decisional Balance Worksheet and an example to help your patient weigh the pros and cons of a difficult decision.

By Ericka Pingol on Jul 05, 2024.

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What is a Decisional Balance worksheet?

Making a balanced decision is essential in many aspects of life, from personal to professional contexts. It involves weighing the pros and cons of each available option and considering the potential risks and rewards that come with each choice. Taking emotion out of the equation also helps ensure that decisions are made objectively and based on logic.

Mental health professionals often use a Decisional Balance Worksheet to help patients weigh the pros and cons of a difficult decision, especially regarding behavioral change.

Generally, the worksheet will include two columns. The left column is labeled “Benefits” and outlines the potential benefits of making a particular decision; the right column is named "Costs" and outlines the potential drawbacks. The worksheet may also include reflection questions to further the patient's exploration of each option.

This visual aid is designed to provide structure and organization to the decision-making process, helping patients become more aware of their options and ultimately make logical choices.

Decisional Balance Worksheet Template

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Decisional Balance Worksheet Example

Download Example PDF

How does this Decisional Balance worksheet work?

This Decision Balance Worksheet is free and easy to use. Here are some steps you can follow to start using the form in your practice:

Step One: Access the template

Download a copy of the Decisional Balance Worksheet using the link provided on this page. You can also access the form using the Carepatron app or our nifty resources library.

Step Two: Provide your patient with a copy

Hand your patient a copy of the form and explain how it can help them reflect on their options for making a behavioral change. Make sure to answer any questions they may have.

Step Three: Let the patient complete the form

Ask your patient to identify a behavior they want to change and weigh its pros and cons. Give them ample time to reflect on their answers and complete the form.

Step Four: Review the form together

After your patient has filled out the worksheet, sit down with them to go over their answers. Discuss the pros and cons of each option and any potential risks and rewards that may come with them.

Step Five: Secure the worksheet

Because this form contains confidential patient information, store the worksheet securely. Keep a digital copy of the form for your records.

Decisional Balance example (sample)

We have written a Decisional Balance Worksheet example to illustrate better how to complete this form. This sample is written by a fictitious patient wanting to change their unhealthy eating behavior. You can view the sample here or download the PDF as a reference.

Download the free Decisional Balance example (sample)

Decisional Balance example (sample)

When to use these worksheets for Decisional Balance?

Using the Decisional Balance Worksheet can help your patient weigh the pros and cons of a difficult decision, especially regarding behavioral change. You can also utilize this form if or when:

You want to provide structure

The Decisional Balance Worksheet can help you create a more organized approach to weighing the pros and cons of a decision. By providing your patient with this visual aid, you can help them become more aware of their options and ultimately make an informed decision.

Your patient needs to take emotion out of the equation

Sometimes it can be difficult for a patient to make an unbiased decision when faced with a difficult choice. Using the Decisional Balance Worksheet, you can help them remove their feelings from the process and decide based on logic.

You want to promote self-reflection

The worksheet includes reflection questions to help your patient further explore each option. Doing so can encourage your patient to understand their decision's potential risks and rewards and make a well-informed choice.

You want to ensure accuracy

By providing the patient with a visual aid, you can ensure that your patient accurately represents the pros and cons of their decision. This is especially important for more serious decisions, such as whether or not to seek medical treatment, a career change, or other life-altering changes.

You want to encourage patient involvement in their care

Utilizing the Decisional Balance Worksheet can promote patient involvement in their care. This enables your patient to participate actively in decision-making and take ownership of their choice and health.

Who is this printable Decisional Balance worksheet PDF for?

The Decisional Balance Worksheet is ideal for healthcare professionals looking to help their patients make more informed decisions. Specifically, this form can be a handy tool for:

  • Therapists
  • Primary care physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Nurses
  • Physician assistants
  • Educators
  • Substance abuse counselors

This worksheet can also be used in different settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and school counseling centers.

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Benefits of free Decisional Balance worksheets

The Decisional Balance Worksheet offers several benefits, such as:

It's versatile

This worksheet can be used in many different settings and for various purposes. It's also easy to customize, so you can tailor it to fit your patient’s unique needs.

It's easy to use

The Decisional Balance Worksheet is simple to use and understand, making it an effective tool for helping your patient weigh the pros and cons of their decision. Your patient can also quickly fill out the form anytime, anywhere.

It helps your patient make an unbiased decision

You can use this worksheet to help your patient remove emotion from their decision-making process and make an unbiased choice. By doing so, you can help ensure that your patient makes the best decision for their needs.

It can be used to weigh the pros and cons of any decision

The Decisional Balance Worksheet can be used for any decision, including behavioral change. This form helps your patient explore their choice's potential risks and rewards and decide on the best course of action based on logic.

Why use this Decisional Balance app?

Do you feel burdened by the paperwork and administrative tasks of managing your patient information? Simplify your life with Carepatron!

Our platform offers a secure and user-friendly way to manage your practice and give you back the hours – or even days – you’d spend on paperwork. Use our features to take control of your workflow:

  • Automated appointment scheduling and reminders to keep things running smoothly.
  • Customizable treatment plans, templates, and progress tracking ensure you provide the best care possible for your patients.
  • HIPAA-compliant messaging for secure communication with patients, so you can always be up to date on their health.
  • Integration with insurance billing and electronic health records – no need to fumble around in multiple systems or worry about outdated information.
  • Accessible from any device, anywhere, with an internet connection, you can take your practice on the go.

Say goodbye to cluttered desks, long hours, and lost documents – say hello to Carepatron! With our platform, managing patient information is simple and secure, so you can get back to doing what you do best – providing quality care. Get started today and see the difference it makes in your practice!

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How to interpret the Decisional Balance Worksheet?
How to interpret the Decisional Balance Worksheet?

Commonly asked questions

How to interpret the Decisional Balance Worksheet?

The Decisional Balance Worksheet is designed to help you and your patient weigh the risks and benefits of making a particular decision. To interpret the worksheet, simply review each question and reflect on how answering them will help your patient make an informed decision.

What does the Decisional Balance Worksheet do?

The Decisional Balance Worksheet is an invaluable tool that healthcare professionals can use to help patients make informed choices. This worksheet helps your patient weigh the potential risks and rewards of their decision.

How to administrate the Decisional Balance Worksheet?

Just hand your patient a copy of the template and ask them to complete it as honestly as possible. You can also provide additional guidance and support as your patient completes the worksheet.

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