Format of Original
Journal of Pediatric Health Care
The Institute of Medicine prioritizes active family and clinician participation in treatment decisions, known as shared decision making (SDM). In this article we report the decision-making experiences for parents of children who had a solid organ transplant.
We performed a prospective longitudinal mixed methods study at five major U.S. children's medical centers. Qualitative interview data were obtained at 3 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after hospital discharge following the child's transplant.
Forty-eight parents participated in the study. Three themes were identified: (a) Parents expect to participate in SDM; (b) parents seek information to support their participation in SDM; and (c) attributes of providers' professional practice facilitates SDM. SDM was facilitated when providers were knowledgeable, transparent, approachable, accessible, dependable, and supportive.
Parents expect to participate in SDM with their transplant team. Health care providers can intentionally use the six key attributes to engage parents in SDM. The results provide a framework to consider enhancing SDM in other chronic illness populations.