Supporting Shared Decision-making for Children’s Complex Behavioral Problems: Development and User Testing of an Option Grid™ Decision Aid

  • Erin R. Barnett
  • Elizabeth A. Boucher
  • William B. Daviss
  • Glyn Elwyn
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10597-017-0136-5

Cite this article as:
Barnett, E.R., Boucher, E.A., Daviss, W.B. et al. Community Ment Health J (2017). doi:10.1007/s10597-017-0136-5


There is a lack of research to guide collaborative treatment decision-making for children who have complex behavioral problems, despite the extensive use of mental health services in this population. We developed and pilot-tested a one-page Option Grid™ patient decision aid to facilitate shared decision-making for these situations. An editorial team of parents, child psychiatrists, researchers, and other stakeholders developed the scope and structure of the decision aid. Researchers included information about a carefully chosen number of psychosocial and pharmacological treatment options, using descriptions based on the best available evidence. Using semi-structured qualitative interviews (n = 18), we conducted user testing with four parents and four clinical prescribers and field testing with four parents, four clinical prescribers, and two clinic administrators. The researchers coded and synthesized the interview responses using mixed inductive and deductive methods. Parents, clinicians, and administrators felt the Option Grid had significant value, although they reported that additional training and other support would be required in order to successfully implement the Option Grid and achieve shared decision-making in clinical practice.


Behavioral disorders Children Child psychiatry Shared decision making Children’s mental health Decision aid 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Gary Tucker Junior Investigator Research Award, Department of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

    Copyright information

    © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

    Authors and Affiliations

    1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterLebanonUSA
    2. 2.Center for Program Design and Evaluation at DartmouthLebanonUSA
    3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Psychiatric AssociatesGeisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
    4. 4.The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical PracticeLebanonUSA

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