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MASCC 2016 | Patient-doctor communication: managing family groups

Phyllis Butow • 23 Jun 2016

Phyllis Butow, BA (Hons), Dip Ed, MClinPsych, MPH, PhD of The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia talks about a family involvement in patient-doctor communication. Family members are very important parts of consultations. However, family members bring their own agendas and issues. Some may have conflicting views leading to challenges for doctors in terms of managing a large family group and reaching a mutual agreement on a way forward. E-communications can be helpful in terms of training the doctors to deliver that sort of care effectively. Modelling is used frequently to demonstrate difficult situations and some different ways of approaching a situation. Overall, Dr Butow mentions there are very good guidelines for discussing prognosis and end of life issues in Australia. In terms of training people online, this is a novel area without any research to provide answers on its effectiveness and understanding. More needs to be done in terms of teaching communication skills online. Recorded at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and International Society of Ocular Oncology (ISOO) 2016 Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer held in Adelaide, Australia.