Sharing Roles and Control in Pediatric Low Risk Febrile Neutropenia: A Multicenter Focus Group Discussion Study Involving Patients, Parents, and Health Care Professionals

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INTRODUCTION: Reducing treatment intensity for pediatric low risk febrile neutropenia may improve quality of life, and reduce hospital-acquired infections and costs. Key stakeholders' attitudes toward early discharge regimens are unknown. This study explored perceptions of reduced therapy regimens in the United Kingdom.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three study sites were purposively selected for their approaches to risk stratification, treatment protocols, shared care networks, and geographical spread of patients. Patients aged 13 to 18 years, parents of children of all ages and health care professionals participated in focus group discussions. A constant comparison analysis was used.

RESULTS: Thirty-two participants spoke of their different roles in managing febrile neutropenia and how these would change if reduced therapy regimens were implemented, how mutual trust would need to be strengthened and responsibility redistributed. Having identified a need for discretion and a desire for individualized care, negotiation within a spectrum of control allows achievement of the potential for realized discretion. Nonattendance exemplifies when control is different and families use their assessments of risk and sense of mutual trust, along with previous experiences, to make decisions.

CONCLUSIONS: The significance of shared decision making in improving patient experience through sharing risks, developing mutual trust, and negotiating control to achieve individualized treatment cannot be underestimated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-344
JournalJournal of pediatric hematology/oncology
Issue number5
Early online date12 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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