Complexity perspectives on clinical decision making in an intensive care unit

Ben A. de Bock, Dick L. Willems, Henry C. Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Rationale, aims, and objectives: How to clarify the implications of complexity thinking for decision making in the intensive care unit (ICU)?. Method: Retrospective qualitative empirical research. Practitioners in an ICU were interviewed on how their decisions were made regarding a particular patient in a difficult, clinical situation. Transcriptions of these interviews were coded and retrieved in Maxqda, a software program. Assisted by complexity thinking, researchers focused on the decision-making process and the shift from analytic approaches to complex approaches. Results: Originally, practitioners took their decisions with negligible transdisciplinary interactivity, drawing on analytical knowledge. Later on, they shifted to transdisciplinary practices, paying attention to more participation in their decision-making processes within their complex environment. Conclusions: Complexity thinking demonstrates that this is a better model towards understanding transdisciplinary decision making then most analytical methodologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-313
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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