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Core Functions of Communication in Pediatric Medicine: an Exploratory Analysis of Parent and Patient Narratives.

Authors
  • Sisk, Bryan A1
  • Friedrich, Annie B2
  • Mozersky, Jessica3
  • Walsh, Heidi3
  • DuBois, James3
  • 1 Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, 4523 Clayton Avenue, Campus Box 8005, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA. [email protected]
  • 2 Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA.
  • 3 Division of General Medical Sciences, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Cancer Education
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2020
Volume
35
Issue
2
Pages
256–263
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s13187-018-1458-x
PMID: 30565162
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Communication in pediatrics is important for psychological well-being and health outcomes. However, consensus is lacking regarding the core functions of communication in pediatrics. The aims of this study were (1) to evaluate whether and how core communication functions from adult oncology apply to communication in pediatric medicine and (2) to examine whether any unique core communication functions exist in pediatric medicine. We analyzed 36 narratives written by parents (n = 23) or former patients (n = 13) describing pediatric communication experiences with clinicians that were published in Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics. Utilizing deductive and inductive coding, we evaluated narratives for evidence of core communication functions previously documented in adult oncology. We also evaluated for novel functions not represented in adult oncology. We identified the presence of all adult core communication functions in pediatric narratives. We also found evidence of a novel function, "engendering solidarity and validation." We report clinician behaviors that appeared to facilitate or impair these core functions. Core communication functions in adult oncology apply to communication in pediatric medicine, but we also identified a novel communication function in pediatrics.

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