Parent resistance to physicians' treatment recommendations: one resource for initiating a negotiation of the treatment decision

Health Commun. 2005;18(1):41-74. doi: 10.1207/s15327027hc1801_3.


This article examines pediatrician-parent interaction in the context of acute pediatric encounters for children with upper respiratory infections. Parents and physicians orient to treatment recommendations as normatively requiring parent acceptance for physicians to close the activity. Through acceptance, withholding of acceptance, or active resistance, parents have resources with which to negotiate for a treatment outcome that is in line with their own wants. This article offers evidence that even in acute care, shared decision making not only occurs but, through normative constraints, is mandated for parents and physicians to reach accord in the treatment decision.

MeSH terms

  • Audiovisual Aids
  • Child
  • Communication
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Negotiating
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / therapy*