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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
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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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Communicating with relatives/companions about cancer care

Communicating with relatives/companions about cancer care

Chapter:
(p.157) Chapter 14 Communicating with relatives/companions about cancer care
Source:
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
Author(s):

Terrance L Albrecht

Susan S Eggly

John C Ruckdeschel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.003.0014

The oncologistȓpatient interaction is frequently situated in a triadic relationship consisting of the physician, the patient, and a third party, usually at least one key family member or companion. Research during the past three decades has demonstrated the important influence that relatives or companions can have on the clinicianȓpatient interaction. Cancer patients and their families or companions add extraordinary dynamics to the clinical interaction due to their knowledge, coping styles, willingness to challenge or question the physician, and prior experience interacting with oncologists and members of the medical team. The need for clinicians to garner their support is critical in order to provide the highest quality cancer care. This chapter describes the importance of family/companions in cancer clinical interactions, their role in strategic communication goals, interaction strategies for achieving these goals, and implications for translating, implementing, and disseminating this information to the training of clinicians. It posits the convergence model of communication as a strong framework for creating shared meaning and understanding with family and companions.

Keywords:   cancer care, cancer patients, families, companions, convergence, communication, training, relatives, clinicians, clinical interactions

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