An emerging field of research: challenges in pediatric decision making

Med Decis Making. 2015 Apr;35(3):403-8. doi: 10.1177/0272989X14546901. Epub 2014 Aug 21.


There is growing interest in pediatric decision science, spurred by policies advocating for children's involvement in medical decision making. Challenges specific to pediatric decision research include the dynamic nature of child participation in decisions due to the growth and development of children, the family context of all pediatric decisions, and the measurement of preferences and outcomes that may inform decision making in the pediatric setting. The objectives of this article are to describe each of these challenges, to provide decision researchers with insight into pediatric decision making, and to establish a blueprint for future research that will contribute to high-quality pediatric medical decision making. Much work has been done to address gaps in pediatric decision science, but substantial work remains. Understanding and addressing the challenges that exist in pediatric decision making may foster medical decision-making science across the age spectrum.

Keywords: decision psychology; family-centered care; patient decision making; pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Family*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient Preference
  • Pediatrics*
  • Research*