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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
Care$
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David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, and Ilora Finlay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.001.0001

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Discussing adverse outcomes with patients

Discussing adverse outcomes with patients

Chapter:
(p.327) Chapter 28 Discussing adverse outcomes with patients
Source:
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
Author(s):

Thomas H Gallagher

Afaf Girgis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.003.0028

Few communication challenges are as difficult for healthcare providers as talking with patients about adverse events, especially when the adverse event was due to a medical error. Ethicists and professional organisations have long endorsed open communication with patients about adverse events and medical errors in their care. Recently, however, there has been a substantial increase in attention being paid to transparent communication with patients. Many countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada have undertaken major disclosure initiatives. This chapter examines what is currently known about patients' and providers' attitudes and experiences with disclosure, the special aspects of disclosure in the oncology context, disclosure in an inter-professional context, how healthcare institutions are responding to calls for greater transparency, what is known about the impact of disclosure on outcomes including litigation, and some of the health policy challenges associated with disclosure. The chapter concludes by considering a disclosure case study, and discussing next steps for disclosure in oncology.

Keywords:   adverse events, disclosure, oncology, litigation, health policy, communication, healthcare providers, medical errors, patients

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