Connecting with patients and instilling realism in an era of emerging communication possibilities: A review on palliative care communication heading to telecare practice
SourcePatient Education and Counseling, 93, 3, (2013), pp. 504-514
Article / Letter to editor
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Patient Education and Counseling
SubjectNCEBP 5: Health care ethics; DCN MP - Plasticity and memory NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
OBJECTIVE: Appropriate palliative care communication is pivotal to optimizing the quality of life in dying patients and their families. This review aims at describing communication patterns in palliative care and discussing potential relations between communication patterns and upcoming telecare in the practice of palliative care. METHODS: This review builds on a systematic five-step qualitative analysis of the selected articles: 1. Development of a 'descriptive table of studies reviewed' based on the concept of genre, 2. Open coding of table content and first broad clustering of codes, 3. Intracluster categorization of inductive codes into substantive categories, 4. Constant inter- and intracluster comparison results in identification of genres, and 5. Labeling of genres. RESULTS: This review includes 71 articles. In the analysis, two communication genres in palliative care proved to be dominant: the conversation to connect, about creating and maintaining a professional-patient/family relationship, and the conversation to instill realism, about telling a clinical truth without diminishing hope. CONCLUSION: The abovementioned two genres clarify a logical intertwinement between communicative purposes, the socio-ethical background underlying palliative care practice and elements of form. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Our study supports understanding of current communication in palliative care and anticipates future communicative actions in an era of new communication technologies.
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