Author(s): Baile WF, Aaron J, Baile WF, Aaron J, Baile WF, Aaron J, Baile WF, Aaron J
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Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Contemporary oncology practice acknowledges the importance of partnering with the patient and family in dealing with the illness. Patients also value their physicians as important sources of support when they provide information about the illness, encouragement, and hope, discuss treatment options, and address their concerns. For this reason outcomes associated with the quality of the physician-patient relationship have received increasing recognition. This review highlights relevant studies bearing on important outcomes of communication with the cancer patient and discusses the implication for training oncologists of the future. RECENT FINDINGS: Evidence is mounting that effective and empathic communication with the cancer patient and family can influence desirable outcomes in cancer care, which affect patient quality of life, satisfaction with care, and medical outcomes. Evidence also exists that communication and interpersonal skills can be taught and learned. Oncology training programs traditionally do not offer experience in this aspect of care although communication skills have now been defined as a core competency for oncology trainees. Finding motivated faculty to teach and providing time and structure in the curriculum are also major obstacles to be overcome. SUMMARY: Communication skills are the cornerstone of comprehensive cancer care. Learning this aspect of patient care can expand the supportive role of the oncologist especially at crucial times for the patient and family such as diagnosis, disease recurrence, and transition to palliative care.
This article was published in Curr Opin Oncol
and referenced in International Journal of Swarm Intelligence and Evolutionary Computation