Project Lead:

Camara van Breemen (NP)

Co-investigators and Collaborators:

Dr. Lanna Locke

Project Description:

The aim of this project was to introduce The Serious Illness Conversation Guide to staff at BCCH. The Guide is an evidence based communication tool frequently used in Palliative Medicine however had not yet been formally tested with the paediatric population. As Pediatric Palliative Care clinicians we proposed the Serious Illness Conversation Guide – Pediatric Adaptation project to enhance communication skills and patient care in the pediatric advanced care planning setting. Our team was aware of the difficulties facing clinicians when it comes to having these traditionally difficult discussions. We were also aware from speaking with families how greatly affected they are by clinical communication practices and how much these can vary among clinicians. As a Palliative Care consultation service, we are often asked by other departments to teach communication skills or participate in disclosure of difficult information or advance care planning. There was a clear need and a desire to enhance these communication skills within Canuck Place and BC Children’s Hospital and, in turn, an opportunity to improve patient care and interdisciplinary engagement.

Prior to the workshop most participants identified they could improve on leading a serious illness conversation and participating as a non-leader in a serious illness conversation. Participants identified having a framework with supporting materials as the most helpful to assist these conversations.All participants strongly agreed that the workshop enhanced their knowledge about pediatric serious illness conversations. Workshop was identified in the surveys by all to improve knowledge and skill in relational communication with parents. All participants identified they would use the SICG-Peds in clinical practice. Their professional role and a child’s condition deteriorating was identified as increasing the likelihood of using the SICG-Peds.

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