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PUBLICATION: Is Shared Decision Making Valued in Pediatric Surgery

Do surgeons and patients/parents value shared decision-making in pediatric surgery?

Shared decision-making (SDM) is touted as the preferred approach to clinical counseling. However, few data exist regarding whether patients prefer SDM over surgeon-guided discussions for complex surgical decision-making. Even fewer data exist regarding surgeon preferences. Such issues may be especially pronounced in pediatric surgery given the complex decision-making triad between patients/parents and surgeons. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate patient/parent and surgeon attitudes toward SDM in pediatric surgery. A systematic review of English language articles in Medline, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases was performed. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were predefined. Text screening and data abstraction were performed by two investigators. Seven thousand five hundred eighty-four articles were screened. Title/abstract review excluded 7544 articles, and full-text review excluded four articles. Thirty-six articles were identified as addressing patient/parent or surgeon preferences toward SDM in pediatric surgery. Subspecialties included Otolaryngology (33%), General Surgery (30%), Plastics (14%), Cardiac (11%), Urology (8%), Neurosurgery (6%), Orthopedics (6%), and Gynecology (3%). Most studies (94%) evaluated elective/nonurgent procedures. The majority (97%) concentrated on patient/parent preferences, whereas only 22% addressed surgeon preferences. Eleven percent of studies found that surgeons favored SDM, and 73% demonstrated that patients/parents favored SDM. Despite recommendations that SDM is the preferred approach to clinical counseling, our systematic literature review shows that few studies evaluate patient/parent and surgeon attitudes toward SDM in pediatric surgery. Of these studies, very few focus on complex, urgent/emergent decision-making. Further research is needed to understand whether patients/parents, as well as surgeons, may prefer a more surgeon-guided approach to decision-making, especially when surgery is complex or taking place in urgent/emergent settings.

For a copy of the full text article, click here.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018