Shared decision-making in the paediatric field: a literature review and concept analysis

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The concept of shared decision-making is poorly defined and often used interchangeably with related terms. The aim of this study was to delineate and clarify the concept of shared decision-making in the paediatric field.


Rodgers and Knafl's evolutionary concept analysis was used to delineate and clarify the concept. Following a search of the CINAHL, PubMed and MEDLINE databases and online journals between 1995 and 2016, we included a total of 42 articles that referred to shared decision-making in the paediatric field.


The attributes included active participation of the three: parents, children and health professionals; collaborative partnership; reaching a compromise; and common goal for child's health. Antecedents were existing several options with different possible outcomes; substantial decisional conflict; recognising child's health situations that decision-making is needed; and willingness to participate in decision-making. Finally, the consequences included decreased decisional conflict; mutual empowerment; improved child health status; and improved quality of paediatric health care.


This study provides a theoretical understanding of the concept of shared decision-making in the paediatric field; furthermore, by integrating this concept into paediatric practice, it may help to reduce the gap between theory and practice. The analysis could also provide nursing researchers with insight into paediatric decision-making and establish a foundation to develop future interventions and situation-specific theory for promoting high-quality decision-making in the paediatric field.

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