A pilot study of observed physician–parent–child communication and child satisfaction in a gastroenterology clinic
Received 19 April 2018
Accepted for publication 22 May 2018
Published 26 July 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1327—1335
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen
Timothy D Becker,1 Henry C Lin,2 Victoria A Miller3
1Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 2Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 3Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Background: Child participation in pediatric medical visits is low. In this pilot study, we sought to better understand relationships between observed communication and child-reported perceptions of communication in a clinical setting.
Materials and methods: For this cross-sectional observational study, pediatric gastroenterology appointments (n=39) were videotaped and coded to quantify various adult affective (eg, chit-chat, empathy) and facilitative (eg, asking questions, encouraging responses) behaviors toward the child, interference with child participation (eg, interrupting or ignoring child), and child verbal participation. Post-visit surveys assessed child perceptions of having voice in the clinical encounter, ease of understanding, and satisfaction with communication.
Results: Parent and provider chit-chat was associated with child-reported ease of understanding. Provider facilitation was positively associated with child participation, but affective communication strategies were not. Physician interference was negatively associated with ease of understanding but positively associated with perception of voice.
Conclusion: Facilitative communication may improve outcomes by enhancing child participation and thus exchange of medical information, whereas chit-chat appears to positively impact children’s perceptions of communication.
Keywords: physician–patient communication, partnership, child participation, pediatric patient experience, child satisfaction
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