Evaluation of the Patient-Practitioner Consultation on Surgical Treatment Options for Patients With Craniosynostosis

Synostosis Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Endoscope-assisted craniectomy and spring-assisted cranioplasty with post-surgical helmet molding are minimally invasive alternatives to the traditional craniosynostosis treatment of open cranial vault remodeling. Families are often faced with deciding between techniques. This study aimed to understand providers' practice patterns in consulting families about surgical options. METHODS: An online survey was developed and distributed to 31 providers. The response rate was 84% (26/31). RESULTS: Twenty-six (100%) respondents offer a minimally invasive surgical option for sagittal craniosynostosis, 21 (81%) for coronal, 20 (77%) for metopic, 18 (69%) for lambdoid, and 12 (46%) for multi-suture. Social issues considered in determining whether to offer a minimally invasive option include anticipated likelihood of compliance (23 = 88%), distance traveled for care (16 = 62%) and financial considerations (6 = 23%). Common tools to explain options include verbal discussion (25 = 96%), 3D reconstructed CT scans (17 = 65%), handouts (13 = 50%), 3D models (12 = 46%), hand drawings (11 = 42%) and slides (10 = 38%). Some respondents strongly (7 = 27%) or somewhat (3 = 12%) encourage a minimally invasive option over open repair. Others indicate they remain neutral (7 = 27%) or tailor their approach to meet perceived needs (8 = 31%). One (4%) somewhat encourages open repair. Despite this variation, all completely (17 = 65%), strongly (5 = 19%) or somewhat agree (4 = 15%) they use shared decision making in presenting surgical options. CONCLUSION: This survey highlights the range of practice patterns in presenting surgical options to families and reveals possible discrepancies in the extent providers believe they use shared decision making and the extent it is actually used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1186-1190
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of craniofacial surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


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