Assessment of parent understanding in conferences for critically ill neonates

Title

Assessment of parent understanding in conferences for critically ill neonates

Creator

Barks MC; Schindler EA; Ubel PA; Jiao MG; Pollak KI; Huffstetler HE; Lemmon ME

Publisher

Patient Education and Counseling

Date

2021

Subject

Critically ill infant; parent understanding; Neonate; Clinician-patient communication

Description

Objectives This study aimed to characterize the use and impact of assessments of understanding in parent-clinician communication for critically ill infants. Methods We enrolled parents and clinicians participating in family conferences for infants with neurologic conditions. Family conferences were audio recorded as they occurred. We used a directed content analysis approach to identify clinician assessments of understanding and parent responses to those assessments. Assessments were classified based on an adapted framework; responses were characterized as “absent,” “yes/no,” or “elaborated.” Results Fifty conferences involving the care of 25 infants were analyzed; these contained 374 distinct assessments of understanding. Most (n = 209/374, 56%) assessments were partial (i.e. okay?); a minority (n = 60/374, 16%) were open-ended. When clinicians asked open-ended questions, parents elaborated in their answers most of the time (n = 55/60, 92%). Approximately three-quarter of partial assessments yielded no verbal response from parents. No conferences included a teach-back. Conclusions Although common, most clinician assessments of understanding were partial or close-ended and rarely resulted in elaborated responses from parents. Open-ended assessments are an effective, underutilized strategy to increase parent engagement and clinician awareness of information needs. Practice implications Clinicians hoping to facilitate parent engagement and question-asking should rely on open-ended statements to assess understanding.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

August 2021 List

Collection

Citation

Barks MC; Schindler EA; Ubel PA; Jiao MG; Pollak KI; Huffstetler HE; Lemmon ME, “Assessment of parent understanding in conferences for critically ill neonates,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 18, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17616.

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