EGA Institute for Women's Health


Tom Morris

Tom Morris











Project title

Providing unexpected adverse information to parents of neonatal inpatients: Using conversation analysis to inform practice.

Project description 

Neonatal Intensive Care Units care for the most critically-unwell newborn infants. These babies may have been born at the most extreme degree of prematurity, or with complex congenital abnormalities requiring multi-organ support, surgery or specialist care, or may have been born in adverse circumstances, leading to them requiring high levels of support to survive. Every day clinical situations change, and honest , difficult discussions are held with the parents of these babies every day. 

Using conversation analysis to examine recorded doctor-parent discussions on the neonatal unit, this study's focus is on those situations when the parents must receive adverse news. The various aspects of this process being considered include the following:

 - Soliciting the parent perspective and verbal participation

 - Techniques to convey complex science

 - Mitigating: providing hope

 - Prognosis and prognostic statements

 - Responding to conversational trouble

Start date


Primary supervisor 

Prof Neil Marlow

Based at