Neonatal Pain pp 157-160 | Cite as

Communication of Diagnosis: Pain and Grief in the Experience of Parents of Children with a Congenital Malformation

  • L. Memo
  • E. Basile
  • A. Ferrarini
  • O. S. Saia
  • A. Selicorni


The majority of families who have children with a congenital malformation do not learn of their children’s diagnosis until after the children are born, so breaking the difficult news of an unexpected diagnosis to parents in the newborn setting is a common occurrence for neonatologist. Presenting the diagnosis to families must be accomplished in a supportive, positive, caring, and honest manner. However, there are few scientific data and little instruction in training programs on how best to convey the news in an appropriate manner. Some articles in the literature over the last 30 years have proposed various guidelines for the so-called informing interview [1]. Discussions of parents’ preferences and experiences in receiving this news have also been documented. Few reports, however, have focused on the breaking of the difficult news of diagnosis of a genetic condition to parents in the newborn setting [2, 3, 4, 5].


Down Syndrome Congenital Malformation Sibling Relationship Congenital Syndrome Parent Support Group 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Memo
    • 1
  • E. Basile
    • 2
  • A. Ferrarini
    • 3
    • 4
  • O. S. Saia
    • 1
  • A. Selicorni
    • 3
  1. 1.Neonatal Intensive Care UnitS. Maria di Cà Foncello HospitalTrevisoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Child Psychiatry Eugenio MedeaScientific InstituteBosisio Parini, LeccoItaly
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsFondazione Ospedale Maggiore, Mangiagalli e Regina ElenaMilanItaly
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsSan Giovanni HospitalBellinzonaSwitzerland

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