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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 Jun;63(6):966-72. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25918. Epub 2016 Jan 29.

Communication Skills Training in Pediatric Oncology: Moving Beyond Role Modeling.

Feraco AM1,2,3, Brand SR4, Mack JW1,2,5, Kesselheim JC1,2,5, Block SD3,4,6,7, Wolfe J2,4.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
2
Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
3
Ariadne Labs, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
4
Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
5
Center for Population Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
6
Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
7
Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

Communication is central to pediatric oncology care. Pediatric oncologists disclose life-threatening diagnoses, explain complicated treatment options, and endeavor to give honest prognoses, to maintain hope, to describe treatment complications, and to support families in difficult circumstances ranging from loss of function and fertility to treatment-related or disease-related death. However, parents, patients, and providers report substantial communication deficits. Poor communication outcomes may stem, in part, from insufficient communication skills training, overreliance on role modeling, and failure to utilize best practices. This review summarizes evidence for existing methods to enhance communication skills and calls for revitalizing communication skills training within pediatric oncology.

KEYWORDS:

childhood cancer; communication skills; communication skills training; fellowship training; graduate medical education; medical education; pediatric oncology

PMID:
26822066
PMCID:
PMC5861499
DOI:
10.1002/pbc.25918
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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