Communication in the diagnosis of childhood cancer

Uys, Ronelle (2010-07)

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Delivering bad news is a continuous challenge for medical staff working in paediatric oncology and haematology units and in other areas, such as ICUs. Conveying the news in a thoughtful, caring and hopeful way shows respect and empathy for the family. Effective, compassionate and open communication has a positive impact on the way in which the family copes. It also helps to establish a relationship of long-term trust. Communicating the diagnosis should be the first building block in an ongoing communicative process. An honest and a humane approach that conveys some hope is advocated.

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