Using the Booklet

Task 5. Exploring expectations

  • The concept of identifying the parent’s expectations has already been mentioned. A number of pieces of research have shown that there is often a mismatch between what GPs think parents are expecting and what they actually want.
  • The only way of actually knowing what parents want or expect is to ask them specifically. A parent that appears ‘demanding’ may actually just want reassurance that the infection has not ‘gone down to the chest’ rather than a prescription for antibiotics.
  • Like asking about concerns, exploring expectations can sometimes feel awkward or unnatural. Sharing ways of asking that have worked for others is sometimes helpful, and we have included a few suggestions that clinicians have found helpful here. The exact words used are probably not as important as having a genuine interest in what the parent’s expectations are.

Addressing expectations

"Some people have a clear idea about what they are expecting when they come to see me, is there anything that you were hoping for or expecting that we haven't talked about yet?"

"How do you think I could most help you today?"

"It's helpful if I know what your thoughts are, and I was just wondering what your thoughts about antibiotics are?"

  • The following video clip demonstrates use of the booklet to ask about the parent’s expectations. In this instance, the parent was interested in using antibiotics, and the video goes on to demonstrate using the information in the booklet to discuss the pros and cons of antibiotics.