Difficult parents: From adversaries to partners

E. R. Sunde, P. A. Mabe, A. Josephson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The pediatrician's job becomes frustrating when it is necessary to deal with difficult parents. Some physicians may not have the training or inclination to engage such parents in a therapeutic partnership. This paper discusses tools available to physicians which will help them develop an effective partnership that includes uncovering the hidden meaning behind a child's illness; understanding the reciprocal nature of partnerships; and the importance of determining each party's goals, roles, and expectations. Negotiating these steps enables physicians to develop a productive relationship with difficult parents of sick children. This strategy can facilitate the child's medical care and improve the parents' and physician's satisfaction with the services rendered. This paper also discusses steps to take when these attempts are not sufficient to handle the situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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