Home > Issue 1 (Volume 14) > The physician-patient relationship in medical decisions and managing «reassurance» in oncology patients


Modern cancer treatment is inextricably linked to the clinician’s communication with the patient and decision-making, as cancer treatment affects the quality of life of the patient even for many years after diagnosis. Within this context, the purpose of this paper was to: a) investigate the types of physician-patient communication and the barriers associated with communication, b) reference to joint decision-making in oncology cases, also analyzing the steps of the “PREPARED” protocol and (c) the presentation of information methods focusing on the “SPIKES” method and a reference to the concept of oncology patient reassurance. A variety of models have been proposed for the binary doctor-patient relationship, one of which is that of Szasz and Hollender, referring to paternalistic, informative and collaborative communication. In addition, joint decision-making seems to affect the clinical physician’s communication with the oncologist, while the “SPIKES” method of information is shown to be the most comprehensible, easy to use and effective. In conclusion, mutual involvement in physician and oncology patient communication, joint decision-making, effective methods of information based on physicians’ skills, empathy and reassurance appear to play an important role in cancer management.

Key words: decision making, information methods, patient-physician communication, reassurance

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