Communication skills and Advance Care Planning
This chapter provides clarification of communication skills and Advance Care Planning (ACP), evidence for the value of effective communication in ACP, key communication skills with useful examples of opening gambits, examples of blocking behaviours, models of communication and suggestions for implementation, workforce issues, and recommendations for further education and training. It notes that communicating about end of life care is challenging but essential. Defining communication and communication skills can be a complex business. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that effective communication is a key element in allowing patients to decide how they are cared for at the end of life. Specific communication skills and models can be instrumental in encouraging patients to share concerns, ideas, and expectations, while some communication behaviours can inhibit patient disclosure. Meanwhile, a systematic approach to developing a workforce skilled in end of life communication is achievable and desirable.
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