JAMA: Clinicians Need More Training on Communication about Patient Values and Preferences

April 3, 2019 | Risk Management News

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What's the news. Interventions are needed to better teach provider-to-family communication skills so that patient values may be incorporated into treatment plans for critically ill patients, according to an April 1, 2019, study in JAMA Internal Medicine. The authors recommend three techniques to help clinicians accomplish this in conversations with patient surrogates: ask what was important to the patients about their previous quality of life and functioning; ask how patients would feel about their expected quality of life should they survive critical illness; and (with the surrogate's permission) provide a treatment recommendation that draws on these conversations.

Why it matters. Studies show that fewer than half of U.S. adults have formulated an advance directive. It is thus essential that clinicians take the time to talk through patient preferences with surrogate decision makers so that a...

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