Communication Skills For Patients With Cancer

4604 Words Jul 14th, 2015 19 Pages
Curriculum

Communication skills, a core element in the care of patients with cancer, is essential for properly managing the expectations of patients and carers, especially in difficult consultations like breaking bad news and in end of life care situations. According to Maguire(2002), “Good communication skills in medical practice can be learned and can always be enhanced”. Results of the randomised studies by Fallowfield (2002,2003) have shown that key communication skills can be improved by training courses, which in turn can lead to an improvement in patient well being, enhanced satisfaction, compliance with treatment and medical decisions and improved clinical outcomes (Fallowfield 2002)(Fallowfield et al., 2003).

Communication skills training could improve ‘patient centred behaviour’ in clinical encounters which includes active listening, open questioning, providing patients with opportunities to ask questions, actively involving patients in management decisions, showing empathy, initiating psychosocial discussion, ethical and professional behaviour, and should be a core element in medical education. Inadequate focus on the softer skills like communication during the training scheme and during the assessments, may lead to the trainee being inadequately equipped to deal with difficult clinical situations once they become consultants and having to learn it the hard way without any support. Ineffective communication in clinical interactions could…

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