GeKo: Successful Communication About Illness and Dying in Pediatric Palliative Care

Duration 01/2022 - 12/2023

Funding The project is funded by Dr. Ausbüttel & Co. GmbH

For pediatric palliative care patients and their relatives, communication with healthcare professionals is of existential importance. Poor communication can lead to limited information transfer, loss of trust on the part of patients and/or their relatives, and under-, over-, or misuse of care. Moreover, it is stressful for healthcare professionals to assess their own communication skills as low; burnout is favored.

Existing communication tools - mostly developed for adult care - do not address the complexity of non-oncology pediatric conditions in palliative care, nor the challenges of age- and development-specific conversations. For healthcare professionals caring for non-oncology pediatric patients, there are currently no platforms to train their skills to improve communication.

Therefore, the GeKo project will create a digital platform providing communication training for physicians and nursing staff. The focus of the training is the improved communication with non-oncological patients and their relatives in pediatric palliative care. For this purpose, film sequences are being developed that depict conversational situations between providers, patients, and their relatives. Additional information and learning materials will be developed and made available on the platform as well. The content will be developed in a participatory approach with pediatric palliative care providers.

Theresa Sophie Busse
Health Scientist

Theresa is particularly interested in the development and use of digital applications in palliative care and related ethical issues.