Use and Perceptions of Shared Decision-Making by General Surgery Faculty and Trainees

Use and Perceptions of Shared Decision-Making by General Surgery Faculty and Trainees
Maham Javaid, Melanie Fritz, Mollie O’Brien, Sunday Clark, Suzanne Mitchell, Sabrina E. Sanchez
Journal of Surgical Research, 10 March 2022; 276 pp 323-330
The purpose of this study was to assess the practice and perceptions of shared decision-making (SDM) by both faculty and residents at Boston Medical Center and explore barriers and facilitators to implementing SDM at our institution.
We created and distributed an online survey assessing provider demographic and training characteristics, experiences with the informed consent process, practices in SDM, and perceptions about SDM. We used descriptive statistics to summarize provider characteristics and survey responses and univariate analysis to determine associations between them.
Fifteen surgeons and 19 surgical residents completed the survey (49% response rate). Most respondents were aware of and had a positive attitude toward SDM (91% and 76%, respectively); 35% reported having SDM training. Providers had varying levels of engagement with different SDM practices, and there were inconsistent associations between provider characteristics and the use of SDM. Often providers thought the patient’s health literacy, foreign primary language, clinical condition, and socioeconomic factors were barriers to the SDM process.
Although most general surgery faculty and residents at our institution had a positive view of SDM, they engaged in SDM behaviors inconsistently, with no clear association between clinician characteristics and specific behaviors. We identified several barriers to SDM consistent with those identified by providers in other specialties. This highlights the need for further research to study live general surgery provider-patient interactions, as well as structured SDM education to train general surgery providers to reliably engage their patients in effective SDM.

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