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A Historical Perspective of Palliative Care Communication 

A Historical Perspective of Palliative Care Communication
A Historical Perspective of Palliative Care Communication

Betty Ferrell

, Elaine Wittenberg

, and Tammy Neiman

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date: 27 January 2020

The historical emphasis on communication in palliative care pays tribute to the philosophical foundation of compassionate care started with the hospice movement. From these early days, communication was recognized as a cornerstone of quality care and has since been woven into current clinical practice guidelines for palliative care. Current concepts on communication in the literature reflect an emphasis on honest and open communication with patients and families, the importance of conveying hope, barriers to quality communication, specific communication needs among pediatric populations, and the use of technology. As the field continues to grow and the merit of palliative care becomes evidence based, more attention is needed to the education, research, and practice of palliative care communication, which has thus far been limited by educational scope and approach. Team-based education across all domains of palliative care, from a relational communication approach using experiential learning techniques, are encouraged to advance the field.

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