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How do nurses communicate with children?
  1. Gillian Colville
  1. Population Health Research Institute, St George's University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gillian Colville, Population Health Research Institute, St George's University of London, London, London, UK; gcolvill{at}

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Commentary on: Sabetsarvestani R, Geckil E. A meta-synthesis of the experience of paediatric nurses in communication with children. J Adv Nurs 2024;00:1-16. doi: 10.1111/jan.16072

Implications for practice and research

  • Paediatric nurses stressed the need for a multimodal approach to communication with children and young people, supplementing verbal interaction with appropriate facial expressions, gestures, tone and use of play.

  • Nurses identified the need to balance communication involving a child and their parents (triadic) and communicating with the child without parents (dyadic) in order to ascertain the child’s understanding and concerns directly rather than solely relying on parental reporting.

  • Parents were described as both aiding nurse communication with children and, in some cases, hindering it.

  • Further communication training for nurses has the potential to improve the quality of care and job satisfaction.


The importance of good communication with patients and their families is widely …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.