Pediatric neurosurgeons' philosophical approaches to making intraoperative decisions when encountering an uncertainty or a complication while operating on children

Leeat Granek*, Shahar Shapira, Shlomi Constantini, Jonathan Roth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to explore approaches to intraoperative decision-making in pediatric neurosurgeons when they encounter unexpected events, uncertainties, or complications while operating on children. Methods: Twenty-six pediatric neurosurgeons from 12 countries around the world were interviewed using a semistructured interview guide. The grounded theory method of data collection and analysis was used. Analysis involved line-byline coding and was inductive, with codes and categories emerging from participants' narratives. Results: When asked to discuss the strategies they used to make intraoperative decisions, neurosurgeons reported three distinct approaches that formed a philosophy of practice. This included the theme of professional practice-with the subthemes of preparing for uncertainty, doing no harm, being creative and adaptive, being systematic, and working on teams. The second theme pertained to patient and caregiver practices-with the subthemes of shared decisionmaking and seeing the whole patient. The third theme involved surgeon practice-with the subthemes of cultivating selfawareness and learning from experience. Conclusions: Pediatric neurosurgeons have a structured, diverse, and well-thought-out analytical philosophy and practice regarding intraoperative decision-making that encompasses a range of approaches including the following: doing no harm, cultivating self-awareness, and seeing the whole patient; and concrete practices such as preparing in advance for uncertainty, working on teams, and learning from experience. These philosophies and practices can be structured and codified in order to teach residents how to develop intraoperative judgment techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Grounded theory
  • Intraoperative decision-making
  • Pediatric neurosurgeons
  • Professional practice

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