The Importance of Communication in Health Care

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Communication, in healthcare, is a multidimensional concept that involves patients, family members, and a health care team. There is a direct correlation with communication, improving a patient's well being, and quality of care. Adequate communication among physicians and their patients is an actively growing research topic. Results supplied by such studies have provided effective recommendations for oncologists and their team. These recommendations include the patient-physician relationship, how physicians utilize medical information, how physicians deal with patient emotions, physician self-management, and educational conferences designed to sharpen communication. Communication is important during each phase of cancer care. Patients are concerned with a wide range of issues including pain, death, and disability. There are distinct categories that affect the way a physician communicates with a patient including physician training, communication barriers, the patients role, communication with families, communication styles, alternative treatments, communication research, as well as public awareness. A successful communication interaction implies that all parties have created a "partnership" and the patient has been fully educated on his or her condition as well as the different options to address the condition.
Educating oncologist's on how to adequately communicate with a patient is a controversial subject. The cancer team members need to be capable of recognizing which communication skills best fit their current situation. "Communication skills can be defined as the cognitive and emotional abilities used by clinicians to enable patients and their families to understand the nature of the illness, to partner with patie...

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