Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

End Of Life Physician-patient Communication

Date:
July 22, 2008
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
Doctors, including oncologists and other specialists who frequently care for terminal patients, do not routinely receive training in end-of-life conversations. Participation in a program that fosters communication skills can have a positive and lasting effect on the physician's delivery of end-of-life care.

Although a growing body of research supports a link between effective communication and patient, family and physician satisfaction, doctors, including oncologists and other specialists who frequently care for terminal patients, do not routinely receive training in end-of-life conversations during medical school, residency training, or after they start to practice medicine.

A study published in June issue of the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology measured changes in physician's attitudes and knowledge after training in end-of-life communication using an innovative educational approach entitled "The Four Habits of Highly Successful Clinicians." The researchers found that participation in a program that fosters communication skills can have a positive and lasting effect on the physician's delivery of end-of-life care.

"We found that doctors are actually eager to improve their skills in end-of-life communication but don't often have the opportunity to do so. With a framework that makes sense to them, their confidence and competence increases," said study senior author Richard M. Frankel, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute research scientist.

"Anecdotally we learned from family members that they appreciated it greatly when compassionate end-of-life counsel was given to their loved ones," said Dr. Frankel.

The study investigators designed and evaluated a program to give practicing clinicians a core set of communication skills to discuss such issues as value and timing of palliative care, advance care plans, clinician grief, and managing anger in family members. The role of culture in communication with patients and family members was also highlighted. Program content was adapted for end-of-life communication from the Four Habits Model of Highly Effective Clinicians.

This physician-patient communication model was co-developed a decade ago by Dr. Frankel, a medical sociologist who focuses on doctor-patient communication. More than 10,000 physicians nationwide have been trained using this approach which has been shown to have a positive long- term effect on both physician and patient satisfaction. Succinctly put, the Four Habits are:

  • Invest in the beginning.
  • Elicit the patient's perspective.
  • Demonstrate empathy.
  • Invest in the end.

Results of the end-of-life communication training showed major changes in the oncologists studied. Sixty-five percent said they would be expressing condolences more than half the time in the future. Historically, a mere 3 percent said they planned to do so. The study found significantly increased professional satisfaction among the participants in dealing with end-of-life care three months after training.

The study concludes," Few clinicians will go through their careers without having a conversation with a patient or family member about advance care planning, terminal illness, death or grief. ...the clinicians we studied were eager to learn more and improve. Skill-based courses in end-of-life communication meet a deeply felt need in clinicians and have the potential to make a lasting and positive difference in the quality of care given to patients and family members dealing with end of life concerns. We owe it to our patients to ensure that this final chapter is enacted with the greatest skill and compassion possible."

"Future research should examine the relationship between changes in knowledge and attitude and how these changes actually translate into clinical practice," said Dr. Frankel, who is also a research scientist at the Center for Implementing Evidence Based Practice at the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.

In addition to Dr. Frankel, authors of the study are Cecilia Runkle, Ph.D. of Group Health Permanente, Elizabeth Wu, M.A. and Edward C. Wang, M.D. of Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Inc.; Geoffrey H. Gordon, M.D. of Oregon Health and Science University. The study was funded by Kaiser Permanente.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "End Of Life Physician-patient Communication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080722143705.htm>.
Indiana University. (2008, July 22). End Of Life Physician-patient Communication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080722143705.htm
Indiana University. "End Of Life Physician-patient Communication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080722143705.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins