The importance of shared decision-making in the neonatal intensive care unit

Frank Soltys, Sydney E. Philpott-Streiff, Lindsay Fuzzell, Mary C. Politi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions are common and rising. Parents with infants in the NICU face difficult decisions about their infants’ care. Few studies have investigated parents’ engagement in NICU decisions and its effects on decision regret. Study design: We surveyed parents of children who had a NICU stay in the past 3 years. We explored whether sociodemographic characteristics affected preferred decision involvement, shared decision-making with NICU clinicians, or decision regret. Multivariable linear regression analyses examined the relationship between shared decision-making and decision regret. Results: Most parents preferred an active (212/405, 52.3%) or shared (139/405, 34.3%) approach to decision-making. No sociodemographic characteristics related to preferred decision involvement or shared decision-making (p’s > 0.05). In multivariable analyses, shared decision-making, education and health literacy related to less decision regret (p’s < 0.05). Conclusions: These data suggest the importance of shared decision-making during NICU stays. Studies should identify ways to support parents through NICU decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-509
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


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