Are you the parent or legal guardian of a child aged 5 to 18 who died of a life threatening illness (LTI) in the past five years?

What is this project?

Danya International, Inc. (a health communications firm in Maryland), has developed a program, Communication Counts. Developed with funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Communication Counts is a support program to help families of children who have passed away from a life threatening illness develop the skills for open and honest communication within the family and with the healthcare team about the illness and prognosis. During support group sessions, program participants have the opportunity to interact with other parents, to watch video clips of real-life families discussing their experiences communicating with their child and medical team, and to learn and practice methods for open and honest communication.

What is the purpose of the study?

As part of developing Communication Counts, Danya is conducting a research study to test the effectiveness of the program.

What would I have to do to participate in this research study?

There will be two evaluation groups; members of the experimental group will attend three 90-minute Communication Counts group sessions (over three weeks) and complete questionnaires at two time points, and members of the control group will only complete questionnaires. After you sign up for the study, a member of the Communication Counts team will randomly assign you to a group. In thanks for their time and effort, experimental group participants will receive $250 and control group participants will receive $150 for participation.

If you are interested in learning more about this research project or enrolling in the study, please email, or call the Communication Counts Project Team at 240-645-1557.

Neil Chethik

Neil Chethik is an author, speaker and expert specializing in men's lives and family issues. He is the author of two acclaimed books: VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think About Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework and Commitment (Simon & Schuster 2006), and FatherLoss: How Sons of All Ages Come To Terms With the Deaths of Their Dads (Hyperion 2001). Previously, Neil was a staff reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat and San Jose Mercury News, and writer of VoiceMale, the first syndicated column on men's personal lives. His writings have appeared in hundreds of print and web publications. He is currently Writer-in-Residence at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington, Ky., where he lives with his wife, Kelly Flood, and son, Evan. Reach Neil at: 121 Arcadia Park Lexington Ky. 40503 859-361-1659 Neil appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss “Men and Loss.” To hear Neil being interviewed on this show, click on the following link:

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