Communication in Cancer Care (PDQ®): Supportive care - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Overview
Communication between clinicians and patients is a multidimensional concept and involves the content of dialogue, the affective component (i.e., what happens emotionally to the physician and patient during the encounter), and nonverbal behaviors. In oncology, communication skills are a key to achieving the important goals of the clinical encounter. These goals include establishing trust and rapport, gathering information from the patient and the patient's family, giving bad news and other information about the illness, addressing patient emotions, and eliciting concerns.[2,3,4] Effective and supportive communication can assist the patient and his or her family in navigating a successful transition to palliative care. Moreover, the need for truly informed consent and the patient's right to health care information and compassionate care create ethical, legal, and humanistic mandates for competency in oncology communication.
In this summary, unless otherwise stated, evidence and practice issues as they relate to adults are discussed. The evidence and application to practice related to children may differ significantly from information related to adults. When specific information about the care of children is available, it is summarized under its own heading.
There are two main types of refractory myeloma patients:
Primary refractory patients who never achieve a response and progress while still on induction chemotherapy.
Secondary refractory patients who do respond to induction chemotherapy but do not respond to treatment after relapse.
A subgroup of patients who do not achieve a response to induction chemotherapy have stable disease and enjoy a survival prognosis that is as good as that for responding patients.[1,2] When the stable nature...
Check NCI's list of cancer clinical trials for U.S. supportive and palliative care trials about communication intervention that are now accepting participants. The list of trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
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Buckman R: Communications and emotions. BMJ 325 (7366): 672, 2002.
Detmar SB, Muller MJ, Schornagel JH, et al.: Role of health-related quality of life in palliative chemotherapy treatment decisions. J Clin Oncol 20 (4): 1056-62, 2002.
Baile WF: Communication competency in oncology: legal, ethical and humanistic imperatives. [Abstract] Psychooncology 15 (Suppl 2): A-13, S6, 2006.