BAD NEWS COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS

IN THE MEDICAL FIELD 

ABOUT THE PROJECT

For many years, the task of delivering bad news to patients has been a subject of concern and question for the professionals in the medical field and not only. With the current trends of increased medical disclosure of diagnosis and prognosis, the importance of sensitively and effectively communicating news that might negatively alter a patient`s perception and view of the future, becomes a high necessity.
The communication of bad news can be seen as a multidisciplinary activity that requires not only the active involvement of an array of healthcare professionals such as medical doctors, nurses, therapists, etc., but also knowledge and skills of proper techniques and protocols that encompass expertise from fields such as medicine, psychology, sociology, human resources, communication, legal, etc.
Bad news situations can include disease recurrence, spread of disease, or failure of treatment to affect disease progression, the presence of irreversible side effects, results of genetic tests, or raising the issue of palliative care and resuscitation.
Notwithstanding the psychological impact of the news itself, improper bad news communication protocols, skills and techniques have a negative impact not only on the receiver but also on the deliverer.

 

The project "Bad News Communication Protocols in the Medical Field" aims to develop educational support for amplifying and improving good practices in communicating sensitive news in the medical field

 

The project is addressed to medical staff; institutions, associations and organizations for medical education, prevention and medical research; public health experts and all those who want to train and improve their communication abilities in  fields such as healthcare, prevention, education and regulation.

Some of the objectives of this project are to reduce the negative effects of bad news communication on medical staff, patients and relatives; to increase the level of humanization of medical practices in clinics and hospitals; to improve communication skills and increase resilience among medical staff and to highlight the importance of specific training for optimal communication in the medical field, both within organizations and with patients and relatives.


The three partner countries - Romania, Cyprus and Italy- as well as other countries in Europe face a scenario where the majority of medical doctors has not received formal training for this essential and important communication, even though delivering bad news is something that occurs daily in most medical practices.

The project is expected to trigger a significant increase in bad news communication skills among medical practitioners and to develop the competencies that are needed to be able to adapt said communication to specific situations. The impact will also manifest as an increase of awareness in regards to all the tools, techniques and methods that medical personnel can use in order to efficiently communicate bad news to patients and next of kin, to humanize healthcare and to increase the quality of the doctor-patient relationship therefore contributing to an overall betterment of medical services.
As an added value, the impact can manifest through fostering employability and enabling career advancements due to the increased and newly developed skills and competencies of the medical staff.
Moreover, through its transferability attributes, the project is expected to have an impact on various groups such as first responders, firefighters, emergency psychologists or staff from law enforcement agencies who communicate bad news to families in the event of accidents. The impact on the said group will manifest through their better understanding of the subject therefore preparing them for real-life actions that can efficiently improve their skills and reactions regarding the communication of significant news.

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A PROJECT DEVELOPED BY:

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The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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