Ironically, while treatment advances have changed the course of cancer so that it is much easier now to offer patients hope at the time of diagnosis, they have also created a need for increased clinician skill in discussing other bad news. Your email: I might say,. A model of empathic communication in the medical interview. This is the statistics.
First, start at the level of comprehension and vocabulary of the patient. When you sit, try not to have barriers between you and the patient.
Dealing with feelings. Previous Section Next Section.
Premi JN. Below we describe a six-step protocol, which incorporates these principles.
These key skills are an important basis for effective communication [ 78 ]. Expressing these fears and concerns will often allow the patient to acknowledge the seriousness of their condition. JAMA 1996 ; 276: Cancer Pract 1997 ; 5: Communicate with cancer patients: Maguire P. Sometimes I prolong for good, sometimes I prolong for bad.
Arch Intern Med 1990 ; 150: The authors of several recent papers have advised that interviews about breaking bad news should include a number of key communication techniques that facilitate the flow of information [ 3 , 13 , 50 - 54 ].
Empathy and burnout: Two years ago, the same journal presented a metasynthesis of the literature on disclosing bad news. Patients who have a clear plan for the future are less likely to feel anxious and uncertain. Second, understanding the important specific goals that many patients have, such as symptom control, and making sure that they receive the best possible treatment and continuity of care will allow the physician to frame hope in terms of what it is possible to accomplish.
Have tissues ready in case the patient becomes upset.