Evaluating interest in narrative therapy for decision making about pectus excavatum treatment

Davide Ticchi, Robert S. Eisinger, Hans K. Pilegaard, Michele Torre, Sergio B. Sesia, Maurizio Infante, Emanuele Voulaz, Mauricio Arce Quesada, Merike Sisask

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: The decision to proceed with surgical treatment for pectus excavatum (PE) is rarely clear-cut. Patients interested in treatment are referred for evaluation by numerous different specialists, but psychosocial counselling is currently not included in this process. Our objective was to assess whether PE patients would be interested in formal assistance with the decision-making process surrounding PE surgery using narrative therapy principles. METHODS: Ninety-seven untreated PE patients at 5 different institutions in 4 countries completed a questionnaire consisting of 13 questions, with 3 questions specifically evaluating interest in narrative therapy. RESULTS: Eighty-two percent of participants were interested in narrative therapy to assist with the decision-making process surrounding PE surgery. Individuals most interested in narrative therapy tend to be more interested in correction (P > 0.05) to improve the way they feel about their body (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of PE patients are interested in narrative therapy to aid the decision-making process about treatment. We propose that narrative therapy should be offered to PE patients during the treatment evaluation process to address the psychosocial difficulties associated with PE and the surgical decision-making process overall. Future studies should assess the effectiveness of this interdisciplinary model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-276
Number of pages6
JournalInteractive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Decision making
  • Interdisciplinary assessment model
  • Narrative therapy
  • Pectus excavatum
  • Psychosocial counselling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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