A qualitative study of caregivers' expectations and communication desires during medical consultation for sick children in Uganda

Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Aug;84(2):217-22. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.07.015. Epub 2010 Aug 23.


Objective: Little data exist on patients' expectations and communication desires during medical consultation in Non-Western settings. We conducted a qualitative study to compare expectations and communication desires of sick children's caregivers at Mulago Hospital, Uganda, to those of patients in Western countries.

Methods: Three Focus Group Interviews and three Key Informant Interviews were conducted with 24 caregivers of sick children in Mulago Hospital Kampala, Uganda. An interview guide adapted from the Calgary-Cambridge Guide was used to conduct focus group and Key Informant Interviews. Two investigators worked independently to review transcripts and analyse them for content and emerging themes.

Results: Caregivers of sick children in Mulago Hospital expect attending doctors to build a relationship with them, by demonstrating the verbal and nonverbal skills outlined in the CCG including maintaining eye contact, using appropriate gestures and voice during communication, and being nonjudgmental.

Conclusion: The communication needs and expectations of caregivers of sick children in Mulago Hospital are similar to those of patients and caregivers in Western countries.

Practice implications: The CCG can be used as a training guide to enhance the communication skills of current and future doctors in Mulago Hospital.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication Barriers
  • Communication*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uganda
  • Young Adult