This ALM will equip participants with the evidence related to the importance of effective communication in healthcare and best practice communication skills training. It will provide reflective and experiential learning opportunities to support GPs during challenging and complex communication scenarios such as in discussing bad news, shared decision making and responding to emotions.
Relevance to General Practice
Most cancer patients present to primary care with symptoms and so GPs are well placed to support patients throughout the cancer trajectory, in particular to impact early diagnosis and referral for cancer treatments and through to the survivorship and end of life stages.
The stages of the cancer journey bring with them difficult and challenging conversations and highly skilled communication is needed during these consultations. Clinicians face patients that may react to diagnostic and treatment information with fear, grief, denial or anger and clinicians should be well equipped and supported to manage and optimise these interactions for their patients, carers and themselves.
Good communication deserves equal importance as developing clinical knowledge and procedural skills, it is not a skill that can be taught once but something that is a lifelong process of refining this art.
- Use the Calgary Cambridge guide when interviewing a patient with cancer
- Recognise your own beliefs, emotions, biases and attitudes and mitigate their impact on your clinical communication and decision-making skills.
- Apply effective communication techniques (eg. using open-ended questions) in challenging situations (ie. discussing bad news with a patient).
- Evaluate patient understanding, determine preferences and promote shared decision making by using effective communication.
- Outline the evidence related to effective communication in healthcare and best practice communication skills training.
Domains of General Practice
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensions
Curriculum Contextual Units
- Adult health
- Care of older people
- Oncology and palliative care
Deakin University’s OCPH
03 5227 8664