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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 25

of 'Discussing serious news'

Overcoming cultural barriers to giving bad news: feasibility of training to promote truth-telling to cancer patients.
Costantini A, Baile WF, Lenzi R, Costantini M, Ziparo V, Marchetti P, Grassi L
J Cancer Educ. 2009;24(3):180-5.
BACKGROUND: In many countries, physicians are reluctant to disclose unfavorable medical information to patients with advanced cancer and instead give the bad news to the family.
METHODS: The authors modified standard communication workshops to help Italian senior oncologists overcome cultural, social, and attitudinal barriers to disclosure of diagnosis and prognosis.
RESULTS: Fifty-seven physicians participated; 88% believed the workshops would improve their medical practice. Many pursued further training and organized communication skills programs of their own.
CONCLUSIONS: Communication skills workshops can be modified to meet educational and social norms and help clinicians acquire the interpersonal skills needed for honest communication with patients.
Department of Psycho-Oncology, Sant' Andrea Hospital and Second Faculty of Medicine, University of Rome, Rome, Italy.