Gaps in the implementation of shared decision-making: illustrative cases

Elliott Mark Weiss, Jonna D. Clark, Carrie L. Heike, Abby R. Rosenberg, Seema K. Shah, Benjamin S. Wilfond, Douglas J. Opel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Shared decision-making (SDM) has emerged as the preferred decision-making model in the clinician-patient relationship. Through collaboration, SDM helps to facilitate evidence-based medical decisions that are closely aligned with patient or surrogate preferences, values, and goals. How to implement SDM in clinical pediatric practice, however, remains elusive, in part because SDM in pediatrics is complicated by the involvement of parents as a special class of surrogate decision-maker. A provisional framework for the process of SDM in pediatrics was recently proposed by Opel to help facilitate its implementation. To identify aspects of the framework that require refinement, we applied it across a diverse range of clinical cases from multiple pediatric specialties. In doing so, several questions surfaced that deserve further scrutiny: (1) For which medical decisions is consideration of SDM required? (2) What is considered medically reasonable when there is variability in standard practice? (3) Can an option that is not consistent with standard practice still be medically reasonable? (4) How should public health implications be factored into SDM? (5) How should variability in preference sensitivity be approached? (6) How should the developing autonomy of adolescents be integrated into SDM?; and (7) How should SDM address parental decisional burden for emotionally charged decisions? We conduct a brief analysis of each question raised to illustrate key areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20183055
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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