Program improves communication between oncologists and patients

Structured approach enabled difficult conversations to happen more than two months earlier

The Serious Illness Care Program helps oncologists have better conversations with their terminally-ill patients without creating anxiety or depression, according to a clinical trial.

Doctor talking earnestly to patient - a man in his 70s

"I was most surprised to see the significant improvement in discussions about prognosis and illness understanding, as well as values and goals, that occurred as a result of the intervention," said Dr Rachelle Bernacki of Ariadne Labs at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, US.