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Qualitative exploration of health professionals experiences of communicating positive newborn bloodspot screening results for nine conditions in England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

J CHUDLEIGH, Holly Chinnery, Jim R Bonham, Ellinor Olander, Louise Moody, Alan Simpson, Stephen Morris, Fiona Ulph, Mandy Bryon, Kevin Southern

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Volume10
Issue number10
Published1 Oct 2020

King's Authors

Abstract

Objective To explore health professionals’ experiences of communicating positive newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) results, highlight differences, share good practice and make recommendations for future research.

Design Qualitative exploratory design was employed using semi-structured interviews

Setting Three National Health Service provider organisations in England

Participants Seventeen health professionals involved in communicating positive newborn bloodspot screening results to parents for all nine conditions currently included in the newborn bloodspot screening programme in England.

Results Findings indicated variation in approaches to communicating positive newborn bloodspot screening results to parents, largely influenced by resources available and the lack of clear guidance. Health professionals emphasised the importance of communicating results to families in a way that is sensitive to their needs. However, many challenges hindered communication including logistical considerations; difficulty contacting the family and other health professionals; language barriers; parental reactions; resource considerations; lack of training; and insufficient time.

Conclusion Health professionals invest a lot of time and energy trying to ensure communication of positive newborn bloodspot screening results to families is done well. However, there continues to be great variation in the way these results are communicated to parents and this is largely influenced by resources available but also the lack of concrete guidance. How best to support health professionals undertaking this challenging and emotive task requires further exploration. We recommend evaluation of a more cohesive approach that meets the needs of parents and staff while being sensitive to the subtleties of each condition.

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