Objectives: Families describe decision-making about gastrostomy tube (g-tube) placement as challenging. We measured caregiver decisional conflict before and after initial g-tube consultation to evaluate the potential benefit of a decision aid and feasibility in testing it.;
Methods: Families presenting for initial consultation about g-tube placement completed the decisional conflict scale (DCS) at 1 or 2 of 3 time points: before consultation, after consultation, and after viewing a video. The decision support consultation was a 2-hour structured meeting with a pediatric hospitalist, nurse practitioner, and dietitian that was focused on clarifying the indication, feasibility, safety, and family values around tube placement. The video described decision-making and lived experiences of families with tube feeding.
Results: We measured the decisional conflict of 61 caregivers. Preconsultation decisional conflict scores were high (mean = 38.7), but there was substantial variation between families (SD = 19.4). Baseline scores did not vary between clinically relevant subgroups. Postconsultation DCS scores were lower (17.9 and SD = 13.5 for consult alone; 12.7 and SD = 13.2 for consult with video). Three caregivers (7.7%) of families had residual decisional conflict scores >37.5, the threshold conventionally associated with decision delay.
Conclusions: Measuring decisional conflict among caregivers deciding about pediatric g-tube is feasible during the clinical encounter. Residual decisional conflict after our institution's current decision support consultation model (with or without an additional video) was low, so development of an additional structured decision aid is not warranted. Further study of preconsult DCS variability across different clinical subgroups may help identify families benefiting from additional decisional support.