Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 Aug;63(8):1423-30. doi: 10.1002/pbc.26012. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Improving Communication in Adolescent Cancer Care: A Multiperspective Study.

Author information

1
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
2
Institute of Primary and Community Care, Lucerne, Switzerland.
3
Swiss Paraplegic Research, Nottwil, Switzerland.
4
Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
5
Quality Management, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Professionals treating adolescents with cancer must communicate well with them and their parents. Evidence suggests that the communication needs of this population are rarely met. Skills training can improve professional communication, but has been criticized for not being based on the experience of the participants in the clinical encounter. We took a multiperspective approach, drawing on perspectives of former adolescents with cancer, patients' parents, physicians, and nurses with the aim to provide suggestions for improvement in communication in adolescent cancer care.

METHODS:

Adolescent cancer survivors (n = 16), parents (n = 8), pediatric oncologists (n = 12), and pediatric oncology nurses (n = 18) participated in 11 focus groups. They discussed their experiences communicating with each other. Transcripts were analyzed by thematic analysis.

RESULTS:

We identified themes within the following sections: (1) The framework in which professionals communicate with adolescents with cancer (regression in a time of detachment, adolescents' perception and knowledge of illness, cognitive versus legal maturity, "lost in transition" between pediatric and adult oncology); (2) communication difficulties between professionals and patients and parents (professionals and patients/parents identified the other party as the source of difficulties), and (3) effective professional communication (there was some overlap on how doctors and nurses should communicate, along with substantially different expectations for the two professions).

CONCLUSIONS:

The framework within which professionals communicate, the different perspectives on the factors that make communication difficult, and the different expectations regarding good communication by doctors and nurses should be considered when communication skills training courses are developed for professionals who work in adolescent oncology.

KEYWORDS:

adolescent cancer; physician communication challenges; qualitative research

PMID:
27081706
PMCID:
PMC5917069
DOI:
10.1002/pbc.26012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center