Family-clinician shared decision making in intensive care units: cluster randomized trial in China

Xinchun Liu*, Gerald Humphris, Aijing Luo, Mingshi Yang, Jin Yan, Shaohua Huang, Siyu Xiao, Ailian Lv, Guobao Wu, Peigen Gui, Qingyan Wang, Yudong Zhang, Yaxin Yan, Nie Jing, Jie Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Objective To investigate if a Family-Clinician Shared Decision-Making (FCSDM) intervention benefits patients, families and intensive care units (ICUs) clinicians. 
Methods Six ICUs in China were allocated to intervention or usual care. 548 patients with critical illness, 548 family members and 387 ICU clinicians were included into the study. Structured FCSDM family meetings were held in the intervention group. Scales of SSDM, HADS, QoL2 and CSACD were used to assess families’ satisfaction and distress, patients’ quality of life, and clinicians’ collaboration respectively. 
Results Comparing the intervention group with the control group at post-intervention, there were significant differences in the families’ satisfaction (P =0.0001), depression level (P =0.005), and patients’ quality of life (P =0.0007). The clinicians’ mean CSCAD score was more positive in the intervention group than controls (P < 0.05). There was no significant between-group differences on ICU daily medical cost, but the intervention group demonstrated shorter number of days’ stay in ICU (P=0.0004). 
Conclusion The FCSDM intervention improved families’ satisfaction and depression, shortened patients’ duration of ICU stay, and enhanced ICU clinicians’ collaboration. 
Practice implications Further improvement and promotion of the FCSDM model are needed to provide more evidence to this field in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1532-1538
Number of pages23
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number6
Early online date24 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • Shared decision-making
  • Family meeting
  • Critically ill patient
  • Family
  • Randomized trial


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