Commentary (Baile/Parker)-Patient-Physician Communication in Oncology: What Does the Evidence Show?
January 01, 2006
We are delighted to reviewthe article by Dr. TonyBack on communicationwith cancer patients. We applaud hiseffort to provide recommendations forenhanced communication with patientsand families based on findings fromthe literature. We agree that using thecancer trajectory to identify key communicationtasks provides a useful heuristicmodel because, by matchingcommunication tasks to "high-stakes"clinical encounters, this approach intuitivelyappeals to practicing clinicians.As clearly described by Dr. Back, thevast majority of recommendations forcommunication among oncologist, patient,and family are not derived fromevidence-based research. This underscoresthe importance of conductingadditional research to use as a basis forguiding clinicians in how to handlethese challenging communication tasks.