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Indian J Pediatr. 2013 Dec;80(12):1028-33. doi: 10.1007/s12098-013-0969-z. Epub 2013 Feb 3.

Communicating with children in healthcare settings.

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Department of Child Development and Family Relations, Rivers West 124/College of Human Ecology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 27858, USA,


Children are vulnerable to experiencing stress during clinic visits and hospitalization. Children process information differently than adults due to their cognitive abilities and communication skills. There is paucity of literature on the subject of communicating with children in pediatric settings in India. This article highlights the developmental and theoretical principles which underscore the need for communicating directly with children about their healthcare experiences. Understanding the ongoing interactional influences of developmental perceptions, stress, coping, information processing, parental role, psychological preparation, and the child rights perspective may reinforce the necessity for pediatric caregivers to develop attitudes and skills to communicate with children and their family members in an inclusive and supportive manner. A brief overview of elements influencing the communication process is provided. Practical recommendations for developmentally appropriate, child friendly communication techniques while respecting children's right to participation and expression are highlighted. Collaborating with parents and child development professionals, as well as using relevant educational programs could facilitate clearer child focused communication. Incorporating effective communication practices in pediatric settings could improve the focus on children's holistic health and wellbeing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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