GPCC publication on universally designed pictorial support tools that promote person-centred communication for all children is highlighted by journal
Universal design with support for alternative and supplementary communication should be used to support person-centred communication and care for children, regardless of age or potential disability. This is described in a GPCC publication, a so-called position paper. This article has now been highlighted by Nursing Inquiry as one of the journal’s most downloaded during its first 12 months of publication.
Person-centred care, with its central focus on the partnership between the patient and the healthcare staff, is increasingly pursued in today's healthcare. This type of care requires effective communication from and by both the patient and the staff. This is not infrequently problematic when it comes to children, due to the many communicative challenges that can arise, for example in terms of developmental level, illness and ailments, language skills and disabilities.
The principle of universal design, which is presented in legislation and conventions such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, means that products and services must be designed so that they can be used by all people to the greatest extent possible.
Strategies and tools that can be used by everone
Augmentative and alternative communication includes strategies and tools, such as pictures, signs and apps with speech, that are commonly used by people with communication disabilities to support communication.
However, universal design of alternative and supplementary communication can be used to support person-centred communication and care for all children, regardless of age or potential disability. This is what the authors Gunilla Thunberg, Ensa Johnson, Juan Bornman, Joakim Öhlén and Stefan Nilsson argue theoretically for in the article Being heard – Supporting person-centred communication in pediatric care using augmentative and alternative communication as universal design: A position paper. In the article, which is now highlighted by the journal Nursing Enquiries, examples are also given from three different paediatric healthcare environments where image support was used universally. Interviews were conducted with children and young people (with and without disabilities), as well as parents and care staff in these environments. The principles of universal design were used as a framework to discuss and demonstrate how alternative and complementary communication promotes and supports person-centred communication in paediatric healthcare.
The article: Thunberg G, Johnson E, Bornman J, Öhlén J, Nilsson S. Being heard - Supporting person-centred communication in paediatric care using augmentative and alternative communication as universal design: A position paper. Nurs Inq. 2022 Apr;29(2):e12426. doi: 10.1111/nin.12426. Epub 2021 Jun 2. PMID: 34076320. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nin.12426