Communication in the diagnosis of childhood cancer
The original publication is available at http://www.cmej.org.za/index.php/cmej
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.