Surgery Residents and Family Dynamics: Are Our Trainees Equipped to Handle Patient Care Beyond Disease?
Surgical trainees are expected to demonstrate family-centered care. However, it is unclear if residents know how to address psychosocial issues of pediatric patients and their families. Our aim was to evaluate surgical trainees’ knowledge of family dynamics. Over a six-month period, trainees (n = 16) were surveyed regarding their comfort and familiarity with the psychosocial aspects of patient care and family dynamics. Residents recorded their comfort level with managing various behaviors using a Likert scale, and indicated which family issues they felt least prepared to handle. Most trainees lacked knowledge of family adjustment phases (50%), relational triangles (78%), developmental stages of families (40%), ambiguous loss (75%), ABCX model of family stress (100%), and the SPIKES model (88%). Excluding anxiety and sadness, almost half of residents felt unprepared for dealing with a variety of challenging behaviors. Finally, trainees were least comfortable with breaking bad news. A Family Dynamics curriculum could potentially increase resident management skills and improve patient care.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2018
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