What Not to Ask

There is an art to asking parents questions. What not to ask parents may be just as important as what to ask.

“Can you be here at 1:30pm on Monday for our appointment to talk about your child?”

 “What worries you about your child?”

These are some of the many questions parents get asked.

Recently, I had a chance to chat with Dr. Frances Page Glascoe on my iTunes show about her work with parents and professionals. One of the things she shared was how to use time efficiently when interviewing parents about their children during pediatric encounters. Dr. Glascoe talked about how to use different tools to gather information prior to the parent/professional visit. This could help avoid the oh, by the way and door knob concerns at the end of an interview when the time is up.

Health communication literature has a well-known study called the “3-Min. Interview.” Researchers studied encounters between healthcare providers and patients. They found that if the professional interrupted the patient within the first 3 minutes of the encounter, the patient was less likely to give information that would lead to an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Glascoe cautioned the use of the word, “worry.” For example, is there anything that worries you about your child? This could be a loaded word that parents may have difficulty addressing. Words and methods for communicating with parents may have a significant impact on service quality.

Check out the podcast to hear Dr. Glascoe talk about facilitating effective communication with parents and much more. http://www.marisamacy.com/podcast/

Dr. Frances Page Glascoe

Dr. Frances Page Glascoe