Shared decision-making (SDM) depends on high-quality communication between the physician and the decision maker. The shared beliefs, values, behaviors, and traditions that make up an individual's culture affect the way he or she communicates and receives information and impacts complex decision-making. Cultural differences between medical providers and patients or their families may lead to wrong assumptions, disparate priorities, a lack of shared goals, and conflict. When it comes to SDM in cross-cultural encounters, we recommend that clinicians acknowledge their own cultural beliefs and values (including those stemming from the culture of medicine), maintain awareness of potential biases and assumptions, appreciate the complexity of patient and family identities and narratives, practice cultural humility, understand the moral relevance of culture, and respect patient and family preferences for SDM. We present a case that illustrates many of these issues.

DOI 10.1542/peds.2018-0516j