Facilitators and Barriers to Shared Decision-Making Communication Between Latina Mothers and Pediatric Mental Healthcare Providers

Health Commun. 2024 Jul 9:1-12. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2024.2375791. Online ahead of print.


This study assessed communication factors influencing shared decision-making (SDM) between language-congruent clinicians and Latina mothers of pediatric mental health patients. The sample comprised Latinx youth up to 22 years old who were enrolled in mental healthcare and attended mental health-related sessions with their parent. One hundred transcripts depicting mental health visits were coded using the Conversation Analysis framework. Coding included inductive coding that came from analyzing the structure, or orderliness, of the visits and content discussed that affects SDM. Thematic qualitative analysis revealed that facilitators to SDM included collaborative engagement, parents being active in tailoring session content, and integrating the preferences, roles, and next steps for treatment among all participants. Barriers included unskilled interpersonal interactions undermining rapport, off-topic conversations becoming the session's focus, poor time management, and irregularly integrating parent/patient preferences into the clinician's decisions regarding the child's treatment. Additionally, visit content, structure, tone, and interpersonal engagement were factors that variably facilitated or served as barriers to patient participation in SDM and were integral to collaborative, family-centered care. These findings delineated characteristics of pediatric mental health conversations and identified areas to strengthen communication between parents, patients, and clinicians to shift toward more effective SDM and improve patient outcomes among Latinx families.