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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2011 Sep;28(6):437-44. doi: 10.1177/1049909110394158. Epub 2010 Dec 28.

Cross-cultural communication and use of the family meeting in palliative care.

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  • 1Division of Hospital Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.


Terminally-ill patients and their families often report poor communication and limited understanding of the patient's diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan; these deficits can be exacerbated by cross-cultural issues. Although family meetings are frequently recommended to facilitate provider-family communication, a more structured, evidence-based approach to their use may improve outcomes. Drawing on research and guidelines from critical care, palliative care, and cross-cultural communication, we propose a framework for conducting family meetings with consideration for cross-cultural issues.

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