n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Using communication skills for difficult conversations in palliative care

Volume 29, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



Palliative care is a field that is rich with opportunity and the need for clear, unambiguous and direct communication. The nature of the illness that brings a palliative care team into the management of a patient and family - the 'unit of care' - makes it all the more likely that difficult conversations will already have taken place. The breaking of bad news, such as the diagnosis of metastatic cancer or WHO stage 4 HIV/AIDS, has often taken place in suboptimal circumstances and the palliative care team sometimes has to revisit the conversation to assist the patient to come to terms with the diagnosis and the way the diagnosis was given.

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