Shared decision-making in pediatric palliative care in the Netherlands

Michiels EM*, Joren CY, Kars MC, Aris JL, Verhagen AAE

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Shared decision-making (SDM) is a process in which health care professionals (HCPs) involve parents and children - when appropriate- to decide together on future treatment. These decisions are based on values that are important for the family, goals of care and preferences for future care and treatment. Elucidation of these values and preferences is preferably done early in the disease trajectory via so-called Advance Care Planning (ACP) conversations. In the Netherlands, ACP and SDM are being adopted by most health care professionals. This has happened only recently. Ten years ago, ACP and SDM were unknown concepts for the vast majority of Dutch HCPs. Today, interest in these conversational approaches is booming in both daily practice and in research. This rise has been reinforced by two recent major advancements in Dutch pediatric palliative care: the Individual Care Plan (ICP) and the Dutch Evidence-Based Guideline on Pediatric Palliative Care (DGPPC). Despite this positive evolution, a lot of work is still ahead. ACP and SDM demand a change in mindset from the traditional paternalistic approach by which the HCP ‘knows what is best for this child’ to a more humble and open approach in which (non-medical) factors that are important to the child and family and may influence the final treatment decision. Such changes in mindset don't happen overnight. In this article we describe the situation of pediatric palliative care in the Netherlands, with focus on the recent evolution of ACP and SDM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101549
Number of pages3
JournalCurrent Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2024


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