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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011 Nov;165(11):1013-9. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.154.

Physicians' shared decision-making behaviors in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder care.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Center for Innovation in Chronic Disease Care, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.



To describe the amount of shared decision-making (SDM) behavior exhibited during treatment-planning encounters for children newly diagnosed as having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and to explore relationships between participant characteristics and the amount of SDM.


Prospective cohort study.


Seven community-based primary care pediatric practices in the Cincinnati, Ohio; northern Kentucky; and southeast Indiana regions from October 5, 2009, through August 9, 2010.


Ten pediatricians and 26 families with a 6- to 10-year-old child newly diagnosed as having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


The amount of SDM behavior exhibited during videorecorded encounters, as coded by 2 independent raters using the validated Observing Patient Involvement (OPTION) scale, which was adapted for use in pediatric settings and produces a score ranging from 0 (no parental involvement) to 100 (maximal parental involvement).


Treatment decisions focused on initiation of medication treatment. The mean (SD) total OPTION score was 28.5 (11.7). More SDM was observed during encounters involving families with white vs nonwhite children (adjusted mean difference score, 14.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 10.2-19.6; P < .001), private vs public health insurance coverage (adjusted mean difference score, 15.1; 11.2-19.0; P < .001), mothers with at least some college education vs high school graduate or less (adjusted mean difference score, 12.3; 7.2-17.4; P < .001), and parents who did not screen positive for serious mental illness vs those who did (adjusted mean difference score, 15.0; 11.9-18.1; P < .001).


Low levels of SDM were observed. Exploratory analyses identified potential disparities and barriers. Interventions may be needed to foster SDM with all parents, especially those of nonwhite race, of lower socioeconomic status, of lower educational level, and with serious mental illness.

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