A shared decision-making tool for individuals living with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome

Semin Pediatr Surg. 2019 Oct;28(5):150844. doi: 10.1016/j.sempedsurg.2019.150844. Epub 2019 Sep 19.


Reports exist regarding a gradual approach to the care of patients with differences of sexual development. Each patient and family have different values and styles of learning that have to be taken into account. The goals of care should include education about the condition, counseling of the patient and family, and a complete outlining of treatment options. Motivated by a call from the 2010 Health Reform Law for the use of shared decision-making tools and the emphasis placed on these issues by the DSD Consensus Statement, we sought to develop and implement such tools for the DSD population.1-3 Thus, we developed an organized checklist for providers to share with a patients and families affected by CAIS, beginning with the initial visit. The development of the document enlisted input from physicians, clinical coordinator, advocacy groups and affected individuals. It allows providers to explain the process of care and develop a plan for delivery of that care over multiple visits spanning six months or more. The checklist is divided into five sections: 1) An overview addressing how much information is desired and in what manner the patient prefers to obtain information; 2) A preferred words list so that the patient can choose nomenclature that is most comfortable; 3) A list of topics to review over the course of multiple visits; 4) A list of questions to be answered by the providers or other resources over time, and; 5) A list of concerns to be addressed before surgical intervention is considered. An organized approach to long-term delivery of compassionate care and accurate information can be facilitated for patients with CAIS by the use of a shared decision-making checklist. Documentation of the care delivery process can stimulate referral to peer support and promote fully informed consent for treatment decisions. The use of the checklist should encourage trust in the provider, as well as aid in identifying and addressing stressors for the patient and family. The checklist will be updated and revised as new treatments and advanced technology emerges.

Keywords: Complete androgen insensitivity syndrome; Decision support tool; Differences of sex development; Disorders of sex development; Shared decision-making.

MeSH terms

  • Androgen-Insensitivity Syndrome / therapy*
  • Checklist*
  • Decision Making, Shared*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic*