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Overview of Communication 

Overview of Communication
Overview of Communication

Sandra L. Ragan

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date: 27 January 2020

This chapter explains the approach to communication in palliative care by the editors of this volume. Communication is defined as a mutual influence transaction by both communicators (healthcare professional and patient/family member) rather than as a mechanistic process of sending and receiving information. Differences between this approach and previous ones in the palliative care literature are highlighted. This chapter elucidates theoretical and empirical contributions to research in palliative care and death and dying by communication scholars and concludes with the introduction of the COMFORTTM SM model: a model developed by four of the coeditors of this volume, based on research evidence from the past decade. Utilizing the concepts of patient-centered care and narrative clinical practice, the COMFORTTM SM model elaborates seven principles of communication that are advocated as highly useful in the offering of palliative care.

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