Don't give up on my mother
The patient's son approaches the physician with a concern about his mother's treatment plan, which has become palliative rather than curative in intent.
The physician must remain ever aware that this can be an emotional time and an emotional issue for family members. When interactions are emotion-laden, it is important to primarily address the emotions before attempting to discuss the issues.
What to watch for
This scenario illustrates how when confronted with strong emotions, it is best to explore them rather than react to them. As you'll see here, the underlying concern is not always the one that is stated.
Note how the physician uses the narrative approach to re-direct the conversation. He also uses another useful technique: he relies on the biology/behavior of cancer to alleviate the son's possible guilt feelings, and help him come to a better acceptance of the situation.
Pocket Guide of Culturally Competent Communication - Free download of ways cultural competence can help you plan patient care.
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