Family patterns of decision-making in pediatric clinical trials

Res Nurs Health. 2006 Jun;29(3):223-32. doi: 10.1002/nur.20130.


The decision-making process related to a child's participation in clinical trials often involves multiple family members. The aim of this study was to compare family patterns of decision-making within and across family units in pediatric clinical trials. Participants for this secondary analysis included 14 families from a larger study of informed consent. Four distinct patterns of decision-making were identified: Exclusionary, informative, collaborative, and delegated. These patterns varied with regard to three dimensions of parents' decision-making goals, child level of involvement, and the parental role. These patterns of decision-making affect how parents and children communicate with health professionals and influence the effectiveness of health care providers interactions with the family related to the decision-making process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Child Advocacy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / psychology*
  • Communication
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parental Consent / psychology*
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychology, Child
  • Role
  • Surveys and Questionnaires