Decisional Conflict and Regret in Parents Whose Children Undergo Tonsillectomy

Michele M. Carr, Jonathan B. Derr, Kodjo Karikari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective To determine if decisional regret (DR) in parents following tonsillectomy/adenotonsillectomy (TA) in their children is related to preoperative decisional conflict, perceived outcome of surgery, complications of surgery, or other factors. Study Design Observational analytic cohort study. Setting Tertiary care children's hospital. Subjects and Methods Preoperative decisional conflict (DC) and SURE tests were administered to a parent of a child scheduled for TA between July 2014 and July 2015. The DR tests were given 1 to 3 months postoperatively. Data were collected on patient age, sex, perceived outcome of surgery, complications (including bleeding), emergency room visits, and clinic phone calls. Results A total of 102 families were studied, including 48 female and 54 male patients with an average age of 6.29 years. Parental respondents included 83 mothers, 14 fathers, and 5 grandmothers. Overall, DC and DR were both low in this group, with a median of 0 for each (means: 7.74 for DC and 8.78 for DR). DC was higher in parents who canceled surgery or failed to keep follow-up appointments (27.19) versus parents who brought their children for surgery (6.78; P <.05). DR was significantly higher in parents with DC (20.00 vs 7.59; P <.05). It was not related to age of the patient, sex, parental perception of resolution of preoperative complaints, complications (including bleeding or dehydration), emergency department visits, or parental phone calls to the otolaryngology clinic. SURE tests indicated that every parent was confident of his or her decision on the day of surgery. Conclusion Preoperative DC is likely the most important factor in determining parental DR after the child undergoes TA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-868
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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