Communication skills in pediatrics – the relationship between pediatrician and child

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Abstract

Interpersonal and communication skills are 2 essential qualities of every physician. These are separate and distinct parts of the professional character of every physician. In pediatrics these abilities present even a higher impact.

We performed a survey-type prospective study based on questionnaires on 100 subjects, equally divided into 4 groups: 25 children, 25 pediatricians, 25 care-givers (parents, tutors, and relatives), and 25 health care staff, in a Tertiary Pediatric Clinic from Romania, between January 2017 and April 2017.

We included 100 participants in our study, equally divided into 4 groups: pediatric patients, pediatricians, care-givers, and health care staff. The 1st group comprised 25 children diagnosed with different chronic conditions, presenting the age between 5 and 14 years. The male gender predominated among the children (57%). The lowest general average score for “Communication” section was encountered among pediatricians group, 3.8, while the other 3 groups presented the same average score for this section, that is, 4.6. The children and the health care staff offered the same average score for “Transparency,” that is, 4.6, while the pediatricians offered a score of 4.5, and the care-givers of 4.7. The lowest average score for the item “Hospital environment” was given by the doctors, that is, 3.3, followed by care-givers with a score of 3.6, health care staff 3.7, and children with an average score of 3.8. All the 4 groups included in the study offered a general average of 4.9 out of 5 for the “Intercultural issues” section. The lowest average score for “Time management” section was offered by both children and pediatricians, that is, 4.1, while care-givers and health care staff had a slightly better perception regarding this item, offering 4.2 and 4.3, respectively.

The opinion among the 4 groups included in the study was generally similar regarding the 5 items assessed by our questionnaires. Therefore, the main aspects that need to be improved in the health care system in downward order are the following: hospital environment, time management, communication, transparency, and intercultural issues.

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