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Communication in the context of cancer as a chronic disease 

Communication in the context of cancer as a chronic disease
Communication in the context of cancer as a chronic disease

Patsy Yates

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date: 01 December 2020

Changes in cancer treatment and improved survival rates mean that cancer is often experienced as a chronic condition. This chapter draws on contemporary models of chronic disease management, which define the capabilities required to promote self-management and identify the specific communication practices that achieve optimal outcomes for individuals living with a long-term condition. These capabilities require health professionals to provide person-centred care and achieve individual behavioural as well as organizational/system change. Communication skills which reflect these capabilities in practice include open questions and reflective listening, empathy and sensitivity to patient needs, and sharing of information. Communication skills to support motivational interviewing, collaborative problem identification, and organizational change, including communicating within a multidisciplinary team, are critical to achieving optimal outcomes for people living with cancer. These communication practices enable the patient to be a partner as they adjust to new health challenges, and a changed social and psychological context.

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