How oncologists break bad news

Oncologists describe feeling both physiological and emotional reactions when they break bad news to patients, according to a ‘metasynthesis’ of 40 qualitative studies.

They report feeling anxiety, anger, exhaustion, guilt, failure and frustration as well as heightened autonomic arousal when telling their patients bad news, say the authors of the analysis, which includes four Australian studies and input from 600 oncologists worldwide.

The emotional experience is