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Physicians working in oncology identified challenges and factors that facilitated communication with families when children could not be cured
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences. Unit of Clinical Research Centre‐Östersund.
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2019 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Aim: We explored physicians' experiences of communicating with families when their child had cancer and a cure was no longer an option, by focusing on barriers and facilitating factors.

Methods: Physicians from the six cancer centres in Sweden took part in focus group discussions between December 2017 and May 2018, and the data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Focus groups enabled us to gather individual and shared perspectives.

Results: The 35 physicians (20 male) had a mean age of 47 (range 31-74) and a mean of 11 years' experience in oncology, ranging from under one year to 43 years. They reported communication challenges when a cure was not possible, namely: emotional and mental drain, lack of mutual understanding and uncertainty about communication skills. They also reported facilitating factors: flexibility in complex conversations, the child's position in the conversations, continuity and trusting relationships, support from colleagues and having discussed the potentially life-threatening nature of cancer from the very start of treatment.

Conclusion: Training to overcome communication issues could support the early integration of palliative care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2019.
Keywords [en]
challenges, childhood cancer, communication, paediatric oncology, palliative care
National Category
Pediatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-161818DOI: 10.1111/apa.14903ISI: 000475166700001PubMedID: 31206784OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-161818DiVA, id: diva2:1342453
Available from: 2019-08-13 Created: 2019-08-13 Last updated: 2019-08-13

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