Editorials

Communicating with parents on the neonatal unit

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39063.441076.BE (Published 04 January 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1
  1. Peter W Fowlie, consultant paediatrician ([email protected]),
  2. Allan Jackson, specialist registrar in neonatal medicine
  1. 1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY

    Should we be doing more than just talking?

    Good communication underpins “good medical practice,”1 whereas poor communication results in patient dissatisfaction, increased complaints, and increased litigation.2 Surprisingly, therefore, other than in the field of cancer care3 there is a lack of literature to guide clinicians on how to improve communication. In this week's BMJ, a randomised controlled trial by Koh and colleagues investigates whether providing mothers of babies in neonatal intensive care units with audiotapes of their conversations with a neonatologist improves recall of information and psychological wellbeing.4

    The concept of family centred care within the neonatal unit is based …

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