Background: Parents previously identified eight core functions of communication with clinicians in pediatric oncology. Objective: To determine clinicians' views on communication functions in pediatric oncology. Design: 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. Setting/Subjects: We performed separate focus groups for nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, and psychosocial professionals. Measurements: Thematic analysis of focus group transcripts. Results: 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. Conclusions: Pediatric oncology clinicians corroborated this functional communication framework. Clinicians and researchers can utilize this framework to guide care and research in the future.
- palliative care
- pediatric oncology
- physician-patient relationship