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Patient Educ Couns. 2003 May;50(1):85-9.

Training practitioners to communicate effectively in cancer care: it is the relationship that counts.

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Rochester Individual Practice Association, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, USA.


The motivation to learn new skills that improve patient care comes from practical experience. Once motivated, trainees and practitioners alike require excellent content and process to modify approaches that improve outcomes. This paper defines content areas the authors believe are needed to improve communication between cancer patients and their practitioners. Perhaps more importantly, the educational process to achieve improved outcomes is discussed and the importance of the context in which that education occurs is stressed. The linkage between administrative behavior and practitioner behavior is described. Synchronicity between the expectations for practitioner practice and the practice environment is needed for practitioners to successfully incorporate the patient-centered practices patients are demanding. Finally, a research agenda is outlined that encourages evaluation of the model proposed.

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