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Shared decision making and patient choice for growth hormone therapy: current perspectives

Authors George B, Ayyar V

Received 3 November 2015

Accepted for publication 8 April 2016

Published 9 June 2016 Volume 2016:6 Pages 41—48


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Mingzhao Xing

Belinda George, Vageesh Ayyar

Department of Endocrinology, St. John’s Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Abstract: Growth hormone has now been available in medical practice for close to 50 years. Its use has provided dramatic results in patients with growth hormone deficiency and it is associated with an overall favorable safety profile. Over the years, the utility of growth hormone has expanded to include treatment for short stature associated with conditions other than growth hormone deficiency, and this situation warrants greater involvement of the child and parents in the shared decision-making process. Shared decision making is in good conformance to the principle of informed consent, and it also improves the compliance and adherence to therapy as the patient fully understands the benefit and safety of the treatment. In the pediatric-care setting, the decision-making interactions usually occur between the health care provider, patient, and parents. The process may range from an autonomous decision-making pattern, where the patient or parents are fully responsible for the decision taken, to the paternalistic decision-making pattern, where the health care provider assumes full responsibility for the decision taken. However, the ideal situation is one where a truly shared decision-making process happens, in which the doctor and patient/parents work together to choose an evidence-based option, in line with the patient’s preferences and wishes. The limited data available on shared decision making with regard to growth hormone replacement, however, is not very encouraging and suggests that the actual involvement of the parents as perceived by them is less than optimal. Introduction of a simple structured model for a shared decision-making process that can be easily incorporated into clinical practice and familiarization of health care providers with the same is essential to improve our shared decision-making practices.

Keywords: growth hormone deficiency, idiopathic short stature, informed decision making

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