UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Improving the written communication of psychoeducational recommendations : a vignette study Fielding, Alyson F.


It is often the parent’s responsibility to follow through with the recommendations outlined in their child’s psychoeducational report. Yet, despite research demonstrating the importance of effective professional-client communication in fostering follow-through with recommendations, as well as low adherence rates, few studies have examined how to best communicate recommendations to parents. This is an unfortunate reality given that the recommendations are often the most crucial component of the psychoeducational report in enriching the child’s future functioning. In turn, many children’s needs are not attended to and the usefulness of the psychoeducational report is drastically diminished. In the present study, parents’ preferences for the way in which recommendations are communicated in a psychoeducational report was examined. Specifically, by developing a procedure to assist in exploring this topic and field testing different recommendation formats, we hoped to gain insight into parents’ preferences for how written recommendations are presented and communicated. Additionally, the recommendation formats influence on parent’s likelihood to adhere to recommendations was also explored. To accomplish this, a multi-stage, Vignette based, case-study design was employed which combined the Vignette technique with a survey format. Four broad themes and nine subthemes emerged from parents’ review of the different recommendation formats, including: organize recommendations into subject areas with headings, provide recommendations with detailed instructions, provide goals and explain how to monitor progress, and, make recommendations specific. Results also indicated a statistically significant difference in likelihood of adherence depending on which recommendation format was reviewed.

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