Screening for neonatal herpes: physicians' descriptions of discussions with parents

Journal Name: 
Herpes
Authors: 
Cotton,S.
Connelly,B.L.
Cohen,S.S.
Siegel,R.M.
Stanberry,L.R.
Rosenthal,S.L.
Abstract: 
Screening for possible herpes simplex virus infection in neonates may raise feelings of anxiety and distress among parents and physicians. To elicit physicians' experiences of communicating with families when screening for neonatal herpes, we conducted a series of semi-structured interviews with 15 physicians from one paediatric institution, and coded the resulting audiotapes for common themes. These included how physicians prepared families for screening and treatment, how physicians managed stigma, and perceived parental reactions. Techniques for fostering good communication included being direct and honest and ensuring the time and place for discussion were appropriate; strategies for managing stigma included placing the diagnosis in epidemiological context, and discussing the potential severity of the disease. Physicians described many parental emotional reactions, some of which were herpes-specific, and suggested strategies to manage potential discomfort when discussing neonatal herpes with families. Future research can determine which strategies are most effective, which are associated with negative psychological outcomes, and how medical students and residents can be better trained to screen for this diagnosis
12
2002
Volume: 
9
Pages: 
60-63
Keywords: 
Adolescent, Adult, better, Communication, CPRG, Diagnosis, Disease, Family, Female, Herpes Simplex, hospital, Human, Infant,Newborn, Interviews, Male, medical, Medicine, Middle Aged, Parents, Physician-Patient Relations, Physicians, psychology, Research, resident, residents, Simplexvirus, Students, Support,Non-U.S.Gov't