Dimensional Analysis of Shared Decision Making in Contraceptive Counseling

Lauren Gerchow, Allison Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To conduct a dimensional analysis to identify conceptual gaps around shared decision making (SDM) in reproductive health care and to refine the conceptual definition of SDM as related to contraceptive counseling. Data Sources: We identified source data through systematic searches of the CINAHL and PubMed databases. Study Selection: We included peer-reviewed research and nonresearch articles that addressed contraceptive counseling for pregnancy prevention in the United States. We did not consider date of publication as an inclusion criterion. We included 35 articles in the final review. Data Extraction: Using dimensional analysis, we extracted data to clarify the definition of SDM as a socially constructed concept that varies by perspective and context. Data Synthesis: Data synthesis enabled us to compare SDM from patient and provider perspectives and to identify four primary dimensions of SDM that varied by context: Patient Preferences, Relationship, Provider Bias, and Clinical Suitability. Conclusion: The four dimensions we identified illustrate the complexity and depth of SDM in contraceptive counseling encounters and broaden the definition of SDM to more than an encounter in which decision making incorporates clinician expertise and patient participation. We identified several assumptions that indicate the need for improved understanding that SDM is not a universal concept across perspectives and contexts. Most researchers in the included articles addressed the Patient Preferences dimension. Fewer considered the patient–provider relationship, the effect of provider bias, and the effect of specific clinical circumstances on SDM. We propose a conceptual map and model that can be used to refine the concepts that inform SDM and guide providers and researchers. Future research is needed to address the remaining gaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-401
Number of pages14
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • contraception
  • decision making, shared
  • patient-centered care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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