Integrating the Choosing Wisely 5 Questions into family meetings in the intensive care unit: A randomized controlled trial Investigating the effect on family perceived involvement in decision-making


Family members often act as surrogate decision makers for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). The use of printed prompts may assist with families feeling empowered to fulfill this role. Prospective, randomized controlled trial in 3 ICUs in Western Australia. In the intervention arm, families received the Choosing Wisely 5 questions as printed prompts prior to a family meeting, and the control arm did not receive prompts. The primary outcome was family perceived involvement in decision-making. Outcomes were measured using a survey. Sixty families participated in the study. The majority of families (87.1% control, 79.3% intervention; P = .334) reported feeling “very included” in decision-making. There was no difference in secondary outcomes, including minimal uptake of the questions by the intervention arm. This has been the first randomized trial evaluating the use of a decision-making tool for families in the ICU. Despite ceiling effects in outcome measures, these results suggest room for future study of the Choosing Wisely 5 questions in the ICU.


intensive care, choosing wisely, family meeting, medical decision-making

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