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  • September 2017
  • Vol. 18, No. 6

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Pediatricians Recommend Shared Decision-Making for Families of Children With Disabilities

A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics explores a systematic approach to implementing shared decision-making (SDM) when working with children with disabilities and their families. The authors note that families of children with disabilities face many treatment decision points that might benefit from SDM, a collaborative process designed to improve patient care, health outcomes, and patient satisfaction by including the patient (when possible) and family in health-care decisions.

The report acknowledges there are several barriers to SDM, including family or patient characteristics, constraints of the health-care system (insufficient time or resources), reimbursement issues, potential language barriers, and clinician knowledge. It lists provider motivation, positive health outcomes, and patient satisfaction as common facilitators.

The June 2017 clinical report in the journal Pediatrics recommends incorporating SDM into daily clinical care, involving cognitively competent children in decisions about their care, and developing SDM decision support technologies. The report includes models for using SDM with children with intellectual, physical, and/or neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families, an overview of the literature on applying SDM techniques, and information on tools available for clinical or research use. The report recommends three areas for future pediatric research: a consensus definition of SDM; measures specific to SDM-related constructs; and yardsticks for measuring outcomes and success, such as child and family satisfaction or specific health or developmental outcomes.

Shared Decision-Making and Children With Disabilities: Pathways to Consensus is available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2017/05/25/peds.2017-0956.full.pdf (863 KB).
 

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