The purpose of this study was to understand the views and experiences of paediatric therapists working in the UK regarding the importance of the therapeutic relationship when providing information for parents of children with long-term disabilities. The aim was to develop new perspectives, to encourage dialogue and reflection for change and to identify practical suggestions for health-professionals when developing therapeutic relationships. Employing an interpretive phenomenological methodology, semi-structured, in depth interviews were carried out with seven health-professionals from a single NHS trust in the UK (Children’s physiotherapists, Occupational therapists and Speech therapists). Resultant data were analysed using a systematic process of thematic content analysis. One main theme ‘The Importance of the Therapeutic Relationship: balancing a positive relationship with professional responsibility’ is presented and discussed. The findings of this study suggest paediatric therapists recognise that fostering a positive therapeutic relationship is vital to facilitate parental engagement with the information they provide. Despite this it was felt that efforts to maintain a positive relationship needed to be carefully balanced with discharging professional responsibility to the child. A preliminary model ‘The Therapeutic Relationship Continuum’ is presented, aiming to help health-professionals self-assess and reflect on the dynamic interface between the therapeutic relationship and information provision.
Bibliographical noteJim Reeder and Jane Morris, The importance of the therapeutic relationship when providing information to parents of children with long-term disabilities: The views and experiences of UK paediatric therapists, Journal of Child Health Care. First Published February 20, 2018 © The Author(s) 2018. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
- Child health
- information provision
- therapeutic relationship