Article Abstract

Listening understanding and acting (lung): focus on communicational issue in thoracic oncology

Authors: Claudia Yvonne Finocchiaro, Alessandra Rota, Vito Barbieri, Anna Bettini, Roberto Bianco, Gloria Borra, Lucio Buffoni, Alessandra Bulotta, Annamaria Carta, Diego Cortinovis, Raffaele Costanzo, Antonio Cusmai, Romano Danesi, Ettore D’Argento, Alessandro Del Conte, Tindara Franchina, Marina Gilli, Vanesa Gregorc, Luciana Irtelli, Lorenza Landi, Francesco Malorgio, Gianfranco Mancuso, Olga Martelli, Paola Mazzanti, Barbara Melotti, Maria Rita Migliorino, Vincenzo Minotti, Michele Montrone, Alessandro Morabito, Elisa Roca, Giampiero Romano, Antonio Rossi, Giuseppa Savio, Marcello Tiseo, Ivano Boscardini, Lorenzo Piccolo, Sara Pilotto, Umberto Malapelle


Background: In the field of oncological assistance, nowadays we have to deal with a complex scenario where patients got used to obtain a huge amount of information through internet or social media and to apply them in performing their health-related decisions. This landscape requires that clinicians become able to handle therapeutical approaches and adequate skills in communication tools to satisfy the current needs. Our project aimed to build a communication model based on clinical oncologists’ real experiences in order to find a simple way to share with patients all the innovative therapeutical opportunities today available in lung cancer. The final goal is to design a flexible and personalized model adaptable to clinician’s personal characteristics and to the specific patient he is facing. We applied both traditional educational tools and innovative techniques in order to make the results effective and applicable to support peer learning.
Methods: The first step consisted in a Board synthesized the definition of the diagnostic process, the identification of treatment strategies and any potential communication barrier clinicians may face dealing with patients. The second step consisted in teamwork including a theoretical part and a training part. In the third step we produce five training videos and video interviews regarding communication praxis and a “Small communication manual”. The last step consisted in the publication of the produced material on website and its diffusion through the social media.
Results: In medicine, the universal application of a single model of communication does not represent the optimal solution. By contrary, the availability of simple and practical suggestions to improve the communicative style could allow clinicians to abandon stereotyped formulas identically repurposed to all patients. The “from bottom to top” training, starting from real-life to take advantage of the clinician’s experience, give the clinicians the possibility to meditate about their own communicative style and to train in the context of a protected environment. Applying these rules, we design an effective communication model, based on healthcare humanization, which could represent a fundamental support for the patient in order to be gently driven by the clinician to the most appropriate therapeutical choice, balancing efficacy and quality of life. The relational training may improve the quality of clinician-patient communication and could be widespread to other clinicians through the media.
Conclusions: Considering the innovative therapeutical options available, particularly for lung cancer patients, and the increasing access of health-related information through internet or social media the clinician-patient communication has become crucial to support the achievement of the most appropriate therapeutical choice for the patient, facing the intricate illness experience. Building a shareable and easy-to-apply communication model represents a challenge aimed to help clinicians and including technology not as a threat, but as a positive tool.