ISSN 1671-5411 CN 11-5329/R
Elisabeth Skaar, Anette Hylen Ranhoff, Jan Erik Nordrehaug, Daniel E Forman, Margrethe Aase Schaufel. Conditions for autonomous choice: a qualitative study of older adults' experience of decision-making in TAVR. J Geriatr Cardiol 2017; 14(1): 42-48. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.01.007
Citation: Elisabeth Skaar, Anette Hylen Ranhoff, Jan Erik Nordrehaug, Daniel E Forman, Margrethe Aase Schaufel. Conditions for autonomous choice: a qualitative study of older adults' experience of decision-making in TAVR. J Geriatr Cardiol 2017; 14(1): 42-48. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.01.007

Conditions for autonomous choice: a qualitative study of older adults' experience of decision-making in TAVR

doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.01.007
Funds:

This study was mainly supported by Grants from Grieg Foundation, Department of Heart Disease, Haukeland University Hospital and Kavli Research Centre for Geriatrics and Dementia, Haraldsplass Deaconess Hospital, Bergen

  • Received Date: 2016-10-09
  • Rev Recd Date: 2016-10-09
  • Publish Date: 2017-01-28
  • Background Patient autonomy is a leading principle in bioethics and a basis for shared decision making. This study explores conditions for an autonomous choice experienced by older adults who recently underwent trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Methods Qualitative study entailing semi-structured interviews of a purposive sample of ten older (range 73–89, median 83.5 years) adults after TAVR (median 23 days). The study setting was a cardiac department at a university hospital performing TAVR since 2010. Analysis was by systematic text condensation. Results Even when choice seemed hard or absent, TAVR-patients deliberately took the chance offered them by processing risk assessment, ambivalence and fate. They regarded declining the treatment to be worse than accepting the risk related to the procedure. The experience of being thoroughly advised by their physician formed the basis of an autonomous trust. The trust they felt for the physicians’ recommendations mitigated ambivalence about the procedure and risks. TAVR patients expressed feelings consistent with self-empowerment and claimed that it had to be their decision. Even so, choosing the intervention as an obligation to their family or passively accepting it was also reported. Conclusions Older TAVR patients’ experience of an autonomous decision may encompass frank tradeoff; deliberate physician dependency as well as a resilient self-view. Physicians should be especially aware of how older adults’ subtle cognitive declines and inclinations to preserve their identities which can influence their medical decision making when obtaining informed consent. Cardiologists and other providers may also use these insights to develop new strategies that better respond to such inherent complexities.
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