Breaking bad news is a complex and sensitive task that requires practice and a considerate, tactful approach. In addition to the verbal component of providing medical information, it also requires other skills such as responding to patients’ emotional reactions, involving them in decision-making, dealing with the stress created by expectations for a cure, the involvement of multiple family members, and the dilemma of how to give hope when the situation is bleak.
When healthcare professionals lack proper training in communication skills, delivering bad news can lead to negative consequences for the individuals receiving the news. For example, poor communication with cancer patients has been shown to be associated with worse clinical and psycho-social outcomes, including worse pain control, worse adherence to treatment, and confusion over prognosis, etc.
In the last Monthly Pulse question we asked the M3 Global Research community: As a healthcare professional, do you feel prepared enough to deliver bad news to patients?
From the healthcare professionals surveyed, the majority said they felt prepared to deliver bad news to patients. Spain, Italy and UK had very similar results with between 64% – 78% stating they felt prepared and France was divided, with 50%.
In a wider analisys between Europe, Brazil and Canada, the majority said they felt prepared to deliver bad news to patients. Results are very similar, 68%, 71% and 74% respectively.
Read the results from the last Monthly Pulse question by clicking the button below.