Are We Making Progress on Communication with People Who Are Near the End of Life in the Australian Health System? A Thematic Analysis

Steven A Trankle, Shantiban Shanmugam, Ebony Lewis, Margaret Nicholson, Ken Hillman, Magnolia Cardona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Initiating end-of-life (EoL) discussions with patients is often delayed or avoided altogether by healthcare practitioners even in light of imminent death. This continues despite the availability of guidelines and conceptual frameworks on how to communicate prognoses at EoL. We surveyed healthcare practitioners to elicit their exposure to and confidence in EoL discussions and to better understand factors that enable or challenge the initiation of discussions in Australian healthcare settings. Thematic analysis identified that EoL discussions could be emotionally burdensome for healthcare practitioners but were regarded as valuable. Effective communications were challenged by conflict with families and between healthcare practitioners as to appropriate care goal transition, and by prognostic uncertainty. Communication skills appeared to be developed more from experience, and beneficial strategies such as role play and mentoring particularly for younger nurses and doctors were identified. Specific training in EoL communications should target undergraduates and new healthcare practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Communication
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Nov 2018

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Communication
Health
Delivery of Health Care
communication
health
communications
role play
communication skills
mentoring
Availability
Patient Transfer
Family Conflict
nurse
confidence
uncertainty
death
Uncertainty
Nurses
Guidelines
experience

Cite this

Trankle, Steven A ; Shanmugam, Shantiban ; Lewis, Ebony ; Nicholson, Margaret ; Hillman, Ken ; Cardona, Magnolia. / Are We Making Progress on Communication with People Who Are Near the End of Life in the Australian Health System? A Thematic Analysis. In: Health Communication. 2018 ; pp. 1-10.
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Are We Making Progress on Communication with People Who Are Near the End of Life in the Australian Health System? A Thematic Analysis. / Trankle, Steven A; Shanmugam, Shantiban; Lewis, Ebony; Nicholson, Margaret; Hillman, Ken; Cardona, Magnolia.

In: Health Communication, 26.11.2018, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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