Parental perspectives on the clinician's approach to serious illness communication: A qualitative study

Title

Parental perspectives on the clinician's approach to serious illness communication: A qualitative study

Creator

Mills N; Chapman M; Sutherland I; Gillam L; Collins A

Publisher

Palliative and Supportive Care

Date

2023

Subject

Parents; Children; Palliative care; Communication; Qualitative research; Serious illness

Description

OBJECTIVES: To explore the perceptions of parents caring for a child with a life-limiting condition on approaches to communication used by clinicians engaging in routine serious illness communication. METHODS: An exploratory qualitative design was used, employing a thematic analysis of data derived through semi-structured interviews which presented hypothetical vignettes of serious illness conversations to elicit parental perspectives. Adult parents of children with a life-limiting condition, in a stable phase of care, known to the Neurodevelopment and Disability Department of a tertiary Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, were purposively sampled to achieve a broad representation of relevant clinical and sociodemographic factors. RESULTS: Eleven parents (72% female) of children aged 7 months to 18 years participated. Two major themes characterized parental perspectives on serious illness communication: "Approaches clinicians can use to lay the foundation for quality communication" including checking in, validation, aligning with hopes and a commitment to listening and being present; and "Approaches clinicians can use to aid the delivery of information" including honesty and compassion, presenting possibilities, providing a plan, and conveying the clinician's experience. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: This study provides novel insights into the perspectives of parents of children with life-limiting conditions that inform how clinicians may best approach serious illness communication. The findings highlight the need for clinicians working in pediatric health care to be cognizant of parents' needs before and during conversations. Laying the foundation for quality communication is important alongside the approaches outlined that aid in the delivery of information.

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

September List 2023

Collection

Citation

Mills N; Chapman M; Sutherland I; Gillam L; Collins A, “Parental perspectives on the clinician's approach to serious illness communication: A qualitative study,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed February 29, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/19300.