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Children 2018, 5(3), 40; doi:10.3390/children5030040

Communicating Effectively in Pediatric Cancer Care: Translating Evidence into Practice

Department of Oncology, Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA
Department of Pediatrics, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC 20010, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 11 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Palliative Care)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [608 KB, uploaded 11 March 2018]   |  


Effective communication is essential to the practice of pediatric oncology. Clear and empathic delivery of diagnostic and prognostic information positively impacts the ways in which patients and families cope. Honest, compassionate discussions regarding goals of care and hopes for patients approaching end of life can provide healing when other therapies have failed. Effective communication and the positive relationships it fosters also can provide comfort to families grieving the loss of a child. A robust body of evidence demonstrates the benefits of optimal communication for patients, families, and healthcare providers. This review aims to identify key communication skills that healthcare providers can employ throughout the illness journey to provide information, encourage shared decision-making, promote therapeutic alliance, and empathically address end-of-life concerns. By reviewing the relevant evidence and providing practical tips for skill development, we strive to help healthcare providers understand the value of effective communication and master these critical skills. View Full-Text
Keywords: pediatric oncology; pediatric cancer; pediatric palliative care; communication pediatric oncology; pediatric cancer; pediatric palliative care; communication

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Blazin, L.J.; Cecchini, C.; Habashy, C.; Kaye, E.C.; Baker, J.N. Communicating Effectively in Pediatric Cancer Care: Translating Evidence into Practice. Children 2018, 5, 40.

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