Day One Talk: Parent preferences when learning that their child has cancer

Rachel M. Kessel, Michael Roth, Karen Moody, Adam Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: The discussion that occurs between a pediatric oncologist and a family when they first learn about their child's new diagnosis of cancer is known as the "Day One Talk." Few studies have addressed parent preferences when learning that their child has been diagnosed with cancer. The objective of this study is to assess what information parents of children with newly diagnosed cancer believe is important to learn during the Day One Talk. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a survey tool based on expert opinion was created to assess parents' views of components of the Day One Talk including its content, length, and setting, as well as whether the child should be present for the initial talk and which staff should be present for the talk. Results: Sixty-two parents of children with newly diagnosed cancer participated. Ninety-seven percent believed that the Day One Talk is extremely important. Ninety percent believed that the word "cancer" should be used during the Day One Talk. Seventy-seven percent believed that the pediatric oncologist should provide specific numbers regarding cure rates for the patient's diagnosis. Eighty-four percent of parents do not believe that children younger than 14 should be present. Conclusions: These results suggest that parents of children with cancer have certain preferences regarding the Day One Talk. When conducting the Day One Talk, providers should elicit parent preferences regarding these issues in order to best meet families' needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2977-2982
Number of pages6
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2013



  • Cancer diagnosis
  • Day One Talk
  • Delivering bad news
  • New diagnosis
  • Pediatric cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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