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Indian J Pediatr. 2014 Dec;81(12):1287-92. doi: 10.1007/s12098-014-1431-6. Epub 2014 Apr 22.

Shared decision-making in pediatric intensive care units: a qualitative study with physicians, nurses and parents.

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Department of Family Medicine, Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital, Talatpasa Bulvari No: 5, Altindag, 06100, Ankara, Turkey.



To understand how decisions are made in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) settings where critically-ill children require life-support decisions and what are the perceptions of health professionals and parents.


In this qualitative study, in-depth, semi-structured, face to face interviews with 8 doctors, 9 nurses and 6 parents of critically ill children were conducted. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed. The transcriptions were further analyzed following open coding and formation of themes.


The themes were discussed in two major titles: perceived roles and emotions during the decision-making process. All nurses and patients agreed that the decision maker should be the physician. Nurses understood patients' emotions better and had a closer relation with the parents. Both doctors and nurses thought that parents could not have all responsibilities about treatment choices, because they do not have the required knowledge. Similarly parents were afraid to make a wrong decision, thus they wanted to leave this to the doctors.


The present study revealed that shared-decision making is not well understood by health care professionals in Turkey. Doctor is the major decision-making authority and this is also accepted and preferred by the patients and nurses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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