Values, preferences and goals identified during shared decision making between critically ill patients and their doctors
journal contributionposted on 2021-03-01, 00:00 authored by Sharyn MilnesSharyn Milnes, Y Mantzaridis, Nick SimpsonNick Simpson, Patricia Dunning, Debra KerrDebra Kerr, J B Ostaszkiewicz, G T Keely, C Corke, Neil OrfordNeil Orford
Objective: Examine values, preferences and goals elicited by doctors following goals-of-care (GOC) discussions with critically ill patients who had life-limiting illnesses. Design: Descriptive qualitative study using four-stage latent content analysis. Setting: Tertiary intensive care unit (ICU) in South Western Victoria. Participants: Adults who had life-limiting illnesses and were admitted to the ICU with documented GOC, between October 2016 and July 2018. Intervention: The iValidate program, a shared decision-making clinical communication education and clinical support program, for all ICU registrars in August 2015. Main outcome measures: Matrix of themes and subthemes categorised into values, preferences and goals. Results: A total of 354 GOC forms were analysed from 218 patients who had life-limiting illnesses and were admitted to the ICU. In the categories of values, preferences and goals, four themes were identified: connectedness and relational autonomy, autonomy of decision maker, balancing quality and quantity of life, and physical comfort. The subthemes — relationships, sense of place, enjoyment of activities, independence, dignity, cognitive function, quality of life, longevity and physical comfort — provided a matrix of issues identified as important to patients. Relationship, place, independence and physical comfort statements were most frequently identified; longevity was least frequently identified. Conclusion: Our analysis of GOC discussions between medical staff and patients who had life-limiting illnesses and were admitted to the ICU, using a shared decision-making training and support program, revealed a framework of values, preferences and goals that could provide a structure to assist clinicians to engage in shared decision making.