Youth friendly communication in a transition clinic aimed at adolescents with chronic illness

Signe Hanghøj, Kirsten A Boisen, Kjeld Schmiegelow, Bibi Hølge-Hazelton

9 Citationer (Scopus)


Background Good communication skills are considered a cornerstone in a "youth friendly approach". However, research in the field as well as transition guidelines only sparsely explain what doctor-patient communication involves. Furthermore, only few guidelines exist regarding concrete communication skills for health professionals who want to apply a youth friendly communication approach to their practice. Objective To examine how health professionals trained in adolescent medicine practise a youth friendly approach when communicating with adolescents with chronic illness. Methods Data from 10 non-participation observations of transition consultations with adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) were analysed using a qualitative positioning analysis approach focusing on the health professionals' reflexive and interactive positionings as well as the décor of the consultation room. Results The health professionals in the transition clinic positioned the adolescent patients as independent interlocutors, children, and adolescents, and they positioned themselves as imperfect/untraditional, appreciative and non-judgmental. The positionings were based on a number of linguistic tools such as affirmation, recognition, examples, asking for the adolescents' own expert knowledge and the décor. The health professionals actively negotiated power. Conclusion Positionings and linguistic tools were inspired by youth friendly tools including the HEADS (Home Education/Eating Activities Drugs Sex/Safety/Self harm) interview, motivational interviewing, and an adolescent medicine practice. A central component was negotiating of power. Limitations of the study include a risk of too positive interpretations of data, i.e. because of the presence of the observer, who could have affected the health professionals' positionings.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2020


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