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Original research
Professionals’ views on shared decision-making in severe aortic stenosis


Objective To provide insight into professionals’ perceptions of and experiences with shared decision-making (SDM) in the treatment of symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS).

Methods A semistructured interview study was performed in the heart centres of academic and large teaching hospitals in the Netherlands between June and December 2020. Cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants (n=21) involved in the decision-making process for treatment of severe AS were interviewed. An inductive thematic analysis was used to identify, analyse and report patterns in the data.

Results Four primary themes were generated: (1) the concept of SDM, (2) knowledge, (3) communication and interaction, and (4) implementation of SDM. Not all respondents considered patient participation as an element of SDM. They experienced a discrepancy between patients’ wishes and treatment options. Respondents explained that not knowing patient preferences for health improvement hinders SDM and complicating patient characteristics for patient participation were perceived. A shared responsibility for improving SDM was suggested for patients and all professionals involved in the decision-making process for severe AS.

Conclusions Professionals struggle to make highly complex treatment decisions part of SDM and to embed patients’ expectations of treatment and patients’ preferences. Additionally, organisational constraints complicate the SDM process. To ensure sustainable high-quality care, professionals should increase their awareness of patient participation in SDM, and collaboration in the pathway for decision-making in severe AS is required to support the documentation and availability of information according to the principles of SDM.

  • heart valve prosthesis implantation
  • transcatheter aortic valve replacement
  • aortic valve stenosis
  • quality of health care

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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