Pub. Date:
Practical Plans for Difficult Conversations in Medicine: Strategies That Work in Breaking Bad News

Practical Plans for Difficult Conversations in Medicine: Strategies That Work in Breaking Bad News

by Robert Buckman MBBCh


View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 1 week


Winner, 2011 American Medical Writers Association Medical Book Award for Physicians

Although they receive extensive clinical training, medical practitioners are given little or no instruction about the best way to break bad news. In this book and DVD set, Robert Buckman, author of How to Break Bad News, offers solid, practical, and practicable guidelines for such conversations as the diagnosis of a serious or fatal illness, the death of a loved one in the hospital, or a disclosure of medical error.

This is a book about communication techniques that work in everyday clinical practice. It is not a series of prefabricated scripts but a collection of strategies and approaches that any clinician can use to effectively communicate with patients. Using basic, honest communication tools, Buckman shows doctors how to approach conversations dealing with the most sensitive medical topics. He explains what to anticipate in various situations and provides guidance on keeping the discussion as constructive as possible.

For each of several scenarios, Buckman supplies alternative responses, indicating which can work best and why. Each protocol is given an acronym to provide a mnemonic aid to help clinicians respond quickly and effectively. The accompanying DVD illustrates the protocols with recordings of unscripted and unrehearsed conversations with standardized patients, showing how the strategies can actually work in real situations in a realistic time frame.

Based on sound, proven strategies and peppered throughout with illustrative examples, Practical Plans for Difficult Conversations in Medicine provides the tools and knowledge necessary to start and sustain a genuine conversation at a moment when the first thought is "I have no idea what to say now."

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801895586
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 07/01/2010
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert Buckman, M.D., Ph.D. (1948–2011), was an oncologist and professor at the University of Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital. He was the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters as well as of books, including How to Break Bad News, What You Really Need to Know about Cancer, and Human Wildlife, all three published by Johns Hopkins.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction. Prescribing the Doctor as Part of the Treatment 1

1 Some "Can't Go Wrong" Tips 8

2 Breaking Bad News:The SPIKES Protocol 21

3 Disclosing Error: The CONES Protocol 75

4 Managing Conflict and Escalation: The HARD Protocol 91

5 Giving Information Effectively: The SAFER Protocol 97

6 Some Particularly Difficult Conversations 107

Conclusion. Putting it All Together and Making a Difference in Communication 121

Acknowledgments 127

Appendix: Notes to Accompany the Scenarios on DVD 129

Notes 137

Index 139

Customer Reviews