MA (Cantab) DClinPsych
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My research focuses on the way children are told about the diagnosis of their own or a parent's, life threatening condition. Previous studies across the globe have highlighted the importance of communication with children and families, and the impact that telling, or not telling, has on both the patient and their family. Effective communication has been associated with better psychological outcomes, as well as improved treatment adherence and disease progression.
However, communication about such sensitive and distressing circumstances is emotionally challenging, not only for children and parents, but also the healthcare professionals who undertake this important task. We are currently conducting a study to map where communication takes place within the healthcare system, and the experiences of healthcare professionals working with both child and adult patients. This will inform our understanding of how communication can be facilitated, with the aim of developing resources and training materials to guide and support healthcare professionals.