Decision-making experiences of health professionals in withdrawing treatment for children and young people: A qualitative study


Objective: To explore factors that influence professionals in deciding whether to withdraw treatment from a child and how decision making is managed amongst professionals as an individual and as a team. Study Design: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of health professionals working at a UK Children's Hospital, with children with life-limiting illnesses whose treatment has been withdrawn. Data were transcribed verbatim, anonymized and analysed using a thematic framework method. Results: A total of 15 participants were interviewed. Five interrelated themes with associated subthemes were generated to help understand the experiences of health professionals in decision making on withdrawing a child's treatment: (1) understanding the child's best interests, (2) multidisciplinary approach, (3) external factors, (4) psychological well-being and (5) recommendations to support shared decision making. Conclusion: A shared decision-making approach should be adopted to support professionals, children and their families to make decisions collectively.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Abdin, S, Heath, G, Neilson, S, Byron-Daniel, J, Hooper, N. Decision-making experiences of health professionals in withdrawing treatment for children and young people: A qualitative study. Child Care Health Dev. 2022. Accepted Author Manuscript, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited
Uncontrolled Keywords: decision making,healthcare,professionals,treatment,Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health,Developmental and Educational Psychology,Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Publication ISSN: 0305-1862
Last Modified: 01 May 2024 07:16
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2022 15:27
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://onlinel ... .1111/cch.12956 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-07
Published Online Date: 2022-01-06
Accepted Date: 2021-12-31
Authors: Abdin, Shanara
Heath, Gemma (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1569-5576)
Neilson, Sue
Byron-Daniel, James
Hooper, Nic



Version: Accepted Version

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