A review of childrens decision-making competence in health care
2008 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 17, no 23, 3131-3141 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Aims and objectives: The purpose of this literature review was to search for and review, systematically, childrens decision-making competence in health care in the scientific literature. Findings of both quantitative and qualitative studies were analysed thematically.
Background: Most previous research in childrens decision-making competence in health care concerns adults care in the best interests of the child. It is important to consider decision-making competence from the childs perspective because of childrens own human rights.
Methods: Systematic review including database search, manual selection, supplementary searching, management and acquisition of relevant literature, quality appraisal, literature review saturation and thematic review.
Results: Six themes emerged: measurable issues, values and beliefs, power, parent-related communication, trust and self-determination. Measurable issues were age, reading ability and memory. Values and beliefs as well as power and parent-related communication were associated with healthcare professionals. Children showed trust and expressed a wish to use self-determination.
Conclusions: Age appropriate information and participation were prerequisites for allowing children to have possibilities of making competent decisions about their own care. Childrens decision-making competence is dependent on others, such as parents and healthcare professionals, attitudes and not only on their own capacity. Lack of competence, however, does not exclude children from the human right to have a say. It should be noted that it is a decision to leave the determination to a parent or healthcare professional.
Relevance to clinical practice: Future research from the viewpoint of children is important to reach optimal levels of participation, through respecting their integrity and to develop them into potential competent decision makers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 17, no 23, 3131-3141 p.
Assess, children, decision-making competence, dependency, information, participation
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16137DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01920.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-16137DiVA: diva2:133225
This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article, the definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com:
Eva K Mårtenson and Astrid Fägerskiöld, A review of children’s decision-making competence in health care, 2008, JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING, (17), 23, 3131-3141.
Copyright: Blackwell Publishing Ltd