Shared Decision Making in the Care of Children with Developmental and Behavioral Disorders

Ellen A. Lipstein, Olivia J. Lindly, Julia S. Anixt, Maria T. Britto, Katharine E. Zuckerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective Shared decision making (SDM) is most needed when there are multiple treatment options and no “right” choice. As with quality and experience of care, frequency of SDM may vary by health condition. The objectives of this study were (1) to compare parent report of SDM between a physical and a behavioral health condition and; (2) to compare parent report of SDM between two different behavioral health conditions. Methods Data on children age 3–17 years with asthma, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were drawn from the 2009/10 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. Weighted logistic regression was used to compare a parent-reported, composite measure of SDM. Analyses controlled for sociodemographic factors that may influence experience of SDM. Results Compared to parents of children with asthma, parents of children with ADHD were significantly less likely to report experiencing consistent SDM (AOR 0.73). Compared to parents of children with ADHD, those of children with ASD had significantly lower odds of experiencing consistent SDM (AOR 0.59). Those with both ADHD and ASD had the same odds as those with ASD alone of experiencing consistent SDM. Conclusion Use of SDM is particularly limited in developmental and behavioral conditions, such as ADHD and ASD. These data suggest that challenges to implementing SDM may include disease type, complexity, and use of specialty care. Research to identify specific barriers and facilitators of SDM is needed to inform interventions that will promote SDM in developmental and behavioral conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-673
Number of pages9
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism
  • Chronic conditions
  • Shared decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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