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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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Enhancing cancer patients' participation in medical consultations

Enhancing cancer patients' participation in medical consultations

Chapter:
(p.87) Chapter 8 Enhancing cancer patients' participation in medical consultations
Source:
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
Author(s):

Donald J Cegala

Dana Eisenberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.003.0008

Over the last thirty years of research in primary care settings, considerable attention has been given to physician communication skills, but comparatively little to patient communication skills. This trend is also true for research involving specialist physicians and cancer patients. This chapter examines interventions designed to enhance cancer patients' communication with physicians. There is ample research in primary care supporting the value of enhanced patient participation. Thus, it is reasonable to ask if cancer patients might also benefit from taking a more active role in medical consultations. While there is variance in research findings, the majority of cancer patients prefer at least a collaborative role in consultations, which requires a good degree of participation (for example, asking questions, expressing preferences and opinions). Thus, most cancer patients will be open to, and can benefit from, communication skills training. Researchers should examine the work on patient participation, shared decision-making, and reviews of patient communication skills interventions for ideas about important communication skills to consider in developing interventions for cancer patients.

Keywords:   cancer patients, medical consultations, interventions, communication skills, patient participation, physicians, shared decision-making, training

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