Decompressive Craniectomy for Severe Head Injury: Does an Outcome Prediction Model Influence Clinical Decision-Making?

S. Honeybul, S. O'Hanlon, Kristi Ho

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The use of a prognostic model to aid clinician decision-making with regard to decompressive craniectomy for patients with severe neurotrauma has not been examined. Thus in this study we assessed whether an internationally validated prediction model would influence clinician decision-making about craniectomy. A two-part structured interview, given before and after knowing the predicted risks of unfavorable neurological outcomes at 6 months, was used to assess the participants' recommendations about performing decompressive craniectomy in three patients with severe traumatic brain injury. The participants rated their preferences when there was no surrogate decision maker available, when the next of kin requested surgical intervention, when the patient had an advance directive, and when the participant was the injured party. A visual analogue scale (1-10) was used to assess the strength of their opinions. A total of 50 neurosurgeons and intensive care physicians participated in this study. The participants were significantly more likely to recommend decompressive craniectomy for their patients than for themselves, especially when the next of kin of the patient demanded the procedure, and were more similar in their own preferences to patients who had advance directives. Clinicians' preferences to perform the procedure for both themselves and their patients was significantly reduced after knowing the predicted risks of unfavorable outcomes, and these changes in attitude were consistent across those with different specialties, regardless of the amount of experience caring for similar patients, or religious background. In conclusion, the predicted risks of unfavorable outcomes influenced clinician decision-making about recommending decompressive craniectomy for patients with very severe neurotrauma.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-19
    JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
    Volume28
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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