Pediatric clinicians' support for parents makes a difference: An outcome-based analysis of clinician-parent interaction

R. C. Wasserman, T. S. Inui, R. D. Barriatua, W. B. Carter, P. Lippincott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pediatric clinicians frequently must offer support (eg. reassurance) to anxious, stressed parents. Supportive clinician behaviors were studied to determine their impact on parents. Forty initial health supervision visits to a pediatric clinic were videotaped through a one-way mirror. Mothers were interviewed immediately before and 1 week after the visits to ascertain changes in concerns, opinions of clinicians, perceptions of infants, and self-confidence. Mothers also completed a postvisit satisfaction questionnaire. Coders blinded to these outcomes identified and enumerated three supportive clinician behaviors: encouragement, reassurance, and empathy. Analyses compared visit outcomes according to high and low levels of maternal exposure to clinician support. Mothers exposed to high levels of encouragement had significant improvement in their opinions of clinicians and higher satisfaction (P = .02). Mothers exposed to high levels of empathy had higher satisfaction and greater reduction in concerns (P < .05). No significant differences in outcome were found for exposure to reassurance. Differences in visit outcomes were not related to either maternal demographic factors or clinician type (pediatricians v pediatric nurse practitioners). These results suggest that pediatric clinicians' support for parents makes a difference. Additional outcome-based analyses are needed to identify the full range of effective pediatric communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1053
Number of pages7
JournalPediatrics
Volume74
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Wasserman, R. C., Inui, T. S., Barriatua, R. D., Carter, W. B., & Lippincott, P. (1984). Pediatric clinicians' support for parents makes a difference: An outcome-based analysis of clinician-parent interaction. Pediatrics, 74(6), 1047-1053.