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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35--38

Breaking bad news in cancer patients


Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital of Komotini, Komotini, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Apostolos Konstantis
Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital of Komotini, Komotini
Greece
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.150172

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Objective: In a regional hospital, many patients are newly diagnosed with cancer. Breaking the bad news in these patients and their relatives is a tough task. Many doctors are not experienced in talking to patients about death or death-related diseases. In recent years, there have been great efforts to change the current situation. The aim of this study was to investigate the experience and education of medical personnel in breaking bad news in a secondary hospital. Materials and Methods: 59 doctors from General Hospital of Komotini, Greece were included in the study. All the doctors were in clinical specialties that treated cancer patients. A brief questionnaire was developed based on current guidelines such as Baile/SPIKES framework and the ABCDE mnemonic. Results: Residents are involved in delivering bad news less frequently than specialists. Only 21 doctors (35.59%) had specific training on breaking bad news. 20 doctors (33.90%) were aware of the available techniques and protocols on breaking bad news. 47 doctors (79.66%) had a consistent plan for breaking bad news. 57 (96.61%) delivered bad news in a quiet place, 53 (89.83%) ensured no interruptions and enough time, 53 (89.83%) used simple words and 54 (91.53%) checked for understanding and did not rush through the news. 46 doctors (77.97%) allowed relatives to determine patient's knowledge about the disease. Conclusions: There were low rates of specific training in breaking bad news. However, the selected location, the physician's speech and their plan were according to current guidelines.






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