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J Perinatol. 2013 Apr;33(4):278-81. doi: 10.1038/jp.2012.103. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Mother-clinician discussions in the neonatal intensive care unit: agree to disagree?

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  • 1Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare mothers' and clinicians' understanding of an infant's illness and perceptions of discussion quality in the neonatal intensive care unit.

STUDY DESIGN:

English-speaking mothers with an infant admitted to the intensive care unit for at least 48 h were interviewed using a semi-structured survey. The clinician whom the mother had spoken to and identified was also surveyed. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed.

RESULT:

A total of 101 mother-clinician pairs were interviewed. Most mothers (89%) and clinicians (92%) felt that their discussions had gone well. Almost all mothers could identify one of their infant's diagnoses (100%) and treatments (93.4%). Mothers and clinicians disagreed on infant illness severity 45% of the time. The majority of mothers (62.5%) who disagreed with clinician estimate of infant illness severity believed their infant to be less sick than indicated by the clinician.

CONCLUSION:

Mother-clinician satisfaction with communication does not ensure mother-clinician agreement about an infant's medical status.

PMID:
22899183
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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