Clinicians' Perspectives on the Functions of Communication in Pediatric Oncology


Parents previously identified eight core functions of communication with clinicians in pediatric oncology. To determine clinicians' views on communication functions in pediatric oncology. In 10 focus groups with 59 clinicians at two academic centers, we asked open-ended questions about communication goals and purposes. Then we presented definitions of eight communication functions previously described by parents and explored clinicians' perspectives. We performed separate focus groups for nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, and psychosocial professionals. Thematic analysis of focus group transcripts. Clinicians identified six functions in response to open-ended questions. After reviewing the eight functions described by parents, all clinicians agreed with the framework: building relationships, exchanging information, making decisions, enabling family self-management, managing uncertainty, responding to emotions, supporting hope, and providing validation. Pediatric oncology clinicians corroborated this functional communication framework. Clinicians and researchers can utilize this framework to guide care and research in the future.

Publication Title

Journal of palliative medicine