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Children, Health Communication with

  • By: Anne P. Hubbell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Communicating with children about their health can be challenging because they may not comprehend what they are being told, and they also may not be able to clearly communicate their emotions or signs and symptoms of illness. Because of this difficulty, physicians will often speak to a child during a physical examination, yet when giving a diagnosis and/or discussing treatment options, the physician will speak to the parent or other adult accompanying the child. Therefore, children may have limited participation in decisions regarding treatment.

Stages of Development

Children may have difficulty understanding because of their phase of development. Bryan Whaley and Tim Edgar explain the stages of development that may inhibit children's capacity to communicate and understand communication from health care professionals. Young children (about 2 ...

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