Mastering Communication with Seriously Ill Patients
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Mastering Communication with Seriously Ill Patients : Balancing Honesty with Empathy and Hope

By (author) Anthony Back , By (author) Robert Arnold , By (author) James Tulsky

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Physicians who care for patients with life-threatening illnesses face daunting communication challenges. Patients and family members can react to difficult news with sadness, distress, anger, or denial. This book defines the specific communication tasks involved in talking with patients with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Topics include delivering bad news, transition to palliative care, discussing goals of advance-care planning and do-not-resuscitate orders, existential and spiritual issues, family conferences, medical futility, and other conflicts at the end of life. Drs Anthony Back, Robert Arnold, and James Tulsky bring together empirical research as well as their own experience to provide a roadmap through difficult conversations about life-threatening issues. The book offers both a theoretical framework and practical conversational tools that the practising physician and clinician can use to improve communication skills, increase satisfaction, and protect themselves from burnout.

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  • Paperback | 170 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 12.7mm | 294.83g
  • 02 Mar 2009
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge
  • English
  • 19 tables
  • 0521706181
  • 9780521706186
  • 159,827

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Author Information

Anthony Back, MD, is Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. He is also Director of the Program in Cancer Communication at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington. Robert Arnold, MD, is Leo H. Criep Professor and Director of the Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is currently President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. James Tulsky, MD, is Professor and Director of the Center for Palliative Care at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

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Review quote

'This useful step-by-step guide tailors the message of developing good communication to some of the most difficult conversations a physician will ever have.' Doody's Notes

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