Decision Quality Among Parents Who Are Offered Ventilation Tube Insertion for Their Children

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2020 Aug;129(8):748-754. doi: 10.1177/0003489420909850. Epub 2020 Mar 4.


Objective: To develop a Decision Quality (DQ) tool to measure parents' DQ concerning ventilation tube (VT) insertion in their children.

Method: Parental survey during 2017 to 2018 in a tertiary care pediatric otolaryngology clinic comparing a validated Decisional Conflict (DC) scale with a DQ instrument including Shared Decision-Making (SDM) scale, parental treatment goals, and knowledge about VT.

Results: Of 100 parent participants, 83% were mothers and 14% were fathers. 94% elected VT insertion, 6% elected monitoring or deferred the decision. 44% of the patients were <18 months, 42% were 19 months to 3 years, and the rest were older. The mean DC score was 8.26 out of 100 (95% CI 4.82-11.69), indicating low DC. Mean DQ score was 82.45 out of 100 (95% CI 80.18-84.72), including mean SDM of 87.71 (95% CI 83.53-91.88,), mean knowledge score of 87.5% (95% CI 84.56-91.59) and mean values score of 7.16 (95% CI 6.90-7.41). Comparisons between those who elected VT and those who did not showed that electors had lower DC scores (7.15 vs 24.74, P < .001), higher DQ scores (83.00 vs 72.61, P = .028) with higher SDM scores (88.70 vs 70.22, P = .044) and higher values score (7.20 vs 6.36, P = .034). Cronbach alpha for the DQ scale was 0.76. Spearman's rho for DQ score versus DC score was -0.458, P < .001.

Conclusions: DQ, as measured with this tool, was higher when parents chose to place tubes. Our DQ instrument has potential use for study of why parents may decline VT when their child meets criteria for them.

Keywords: decision quality; decision-making; decisional regret; quality of life; tympanostomy tubes; ventilation tubes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Decision Making, Shared*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Ear Ventilation / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires