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OP-002 Therapeutic alliance – an essential for better healthcare outcomes in paediatrics
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  1. Mizna Shahid,
  2. Farhana Sharif
  1. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin 2

Abstract

Aim The aim of this review was to investigate factors which aid in establishing therapeutic alliance for better healthcare outcomes in paediatrics. The therapeutic alliance between a medical professional and a patient has been shown to improve treatment uptake and adherence and increase both doctor and patient satisfaction. However, fewer studies discuss methods to improve the alliance, particularly in Paediatric settings.

Material and Method Studies focused on factors impacting therapeutic alliance and other aspects of doctor-patient relationships were gathered. The most common factors which aided the development of an alliance were identified.

Results Amongst the 15 studies included in the review - Verbal, non-verbal and paraverbal communication interventions were discussed. Effective listening is also important for developing an alliance, as well as trust in physicians. Having cultural awareness also improves the relationship and experience of patients or the parents/guardians of young patients. In a paediatric context, patients being seen as individuals, shared decision-making and empathy of care providers were considered important. An emphasis must also be placed on including younger patients’ parents/guardians in the care plan, as this will contribute to decreasing patient stress and may increase younger patients’ understanding of their treatment plans. Encouraging patients to reflect upon their condition can also improve their willingness to change, and thus will lead to improved adherence to treatment and a stronger doctor-patient alliance. However, further research is required on this topic to investigate additional factors and their effect on establishing therapeutic alliances in Paediatric settings.

Conclusions Amongst the most commonly reported factors which improve therapeutic alliance are communication, trust, reflection, empathy, shared decision-making and cultural awareness. Further research is required on additional factors that can improve the therapeutic alliance, especially in paediatric settings. Medical professionals should be aware of factors that can improve their alliance with patients and should aim to inculcate these traits in their practice.

  • therapeutic alliance
  • improved
  • healthcare outcomes
  • paediatrics

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