Triadic communication in the primary care paediatric consultation: A review of the literature

Patricia Cahill, Alexi Papageorgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

60 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Children aged 6-12 years are usually seen in primary care with an adult cares. It is a government and professional priority for doctors to try and involve these children in their medical consultations. Aim: To ascertain the evidence available on the amount and type of involvement that children in the 6-12 year age group have in their primary care consultations when the consultation was held with a child, a GP, and an adult. Design of the study: Literature review. Method: Data sources included MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, and ERIC. The Cochrane library, PsychINFO, Web of Science and Wilson's Social Science abstracts, hand searching for references, and contact with authors. Results: Twenty-one studies were selected for inclusion in the study. Children were found to have little quantitative involvement in their own consultations. They may take part during information gathering but are unlikely to participate in the treatment planning and discussion parts of the consultation. Conclusion: Children in the 6-12 year age group have little meaningful involvement in their consultations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-911
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number544
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Communication
  • Consultation
  • General practice
  • Paediatric primary care
  • Triadic

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