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Communication in cancer care in Europe and EU policy initiatives 

Communication in cancer care in Europe and EU policy initiatives
Communication in cancer care in Europe and EU policy initiatives

Luigi Grassi

and Luzia Travado

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date: 03 December 2020

Awareness of cultural differences when communicating with cancer patients has become an increased focus of attention in European countries. The historically paternalistic approach by doctors in knowing what is best and deciding what should be done for a patient has been replaced by a shared decision-making approach, with attention being given to cultural and individual patient needs. In a rapidly changing world, with increased immigration, many European countries are becoming multiethnic and multicultural. It is important to understand the ways in which cultures, language, thoughts, customs, beliefs, values, religion, and illness influence communication within the context of the doctor-patient relationship. These issues should be considered in the development of European communication skills training programmes and guidelines. In this chapter, some of the main aspects of doctor-patient communication in a culturally diverse Europe will be discussed, and some training initiatives presented.

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