Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Fifteen-minute consultation: Guide to communicating with children and young people
  1. Gail Davison1,2,
  2. Richard Conn1,3,
  3. Martina Ann Kelly4,
  4. Andrew Thompson3,
  5. Tim Dornan1
  1. 1 Centre for Medical Education, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  2. 2 Children's Emergency Department, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  3. 3 General Paediatrics, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  4. 4 Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gail Davison, Centre for Medical Education, Queen's University Belfast Faculty of Medicine Health and Life Sciences, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK; gdavison05{at}


This article suggests communicative steps and strategies to help healthcare professionals achieve the ideals of child-centred care, which place children and young people at the centre of policy and practice. For those with 15 s, not 15 min, our suggestions can be summarised like this: help children be active agents in their own care by asking, listening well, being curious and explaining things clearly in an accessible but not condescending way.

  • paediatrics
  • child health services

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Twitter @GailDavison9, @richardlconn, @No twitter, @ProfTimD

  • Contributors GD wrote the first draft and managed the revisions. MAK, RC, AT and TD provided critical reviews and contributed to revisions. All authors read and approved the final version.

  • Funding This work was funded by the Charitable Funds Department, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, by award of a PhD Research Fellowship received by GD (grant number 71817005).

  • Disclaimer Funders had no direct involvement with conceptualisation or completion.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.