Article Abstract

Communication skill frameworks: applications in radiation oncology

Authors: Emily J. Martin, Shayna E. Rich, Joshua A. Jones, Kavita V. Dharmarajan


Communication is an important part of high-quality care at every step. Communication skills can be learned, practiced, and improved. In this review, we outline the basic frameworks for communication skills training, describe their components, and demonstrate their utility in the context of vignettes. We discuss specific evidence-based roadmaps for approaching the various communication tasks a radiation oncologist might encounter. Each is summarized with an easy to remember mnemonic. These include responding to emotion using NURSE statements, delivering serious news using SPIKES, discussing prognosis using ADAPT, and discussing goals of care using REMAP. To tie it all together, we offer a simplified general approach to all communication tasks with the mnemonic ACE (Assess, Communicate, Empathize).

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