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Prognosis communication for people with head and neck cancer

Analysis of succesfully communicating prognosis for people with head and neck cancer

Analysis of succesfully communicating prognosis for people with head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer and its treatments are associated with significant morbidity, mortality and negative impacts on the physical and mental well-being of the patient. For many reasons, the communication of prognosis is recognisably difficult and distressing for the patient and clinician. However, in an era of more informed and involved patients, an emphasis on shared decision-making would suggest the need for more clarity and openness and more skilful professional dialogue.

In this Dutch qualitative single centre descriptive study to explore the communication styles employed, researchers audiotaped and analysed 23 real discussions about treatment options between physicians and patients where questions on prognosis could be reasonably expected to arise.

The average age of the patient participant was 68 years; the majority of patients were male (74%); most patients

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