Key papers on clinical communication

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Key articlescoga

  • Simpson M, Buckman R, Stewart M. Doctor patient communication: the Toronto Consensus Statement
  • Makoul G. Essential elements of communication in medical encounters: the Kalamazoo Consensus Statement. Academic Medicine 2001; 76(4): 390-393.
  • Maguire P, Pitceathly C.  Key communication skills and how to acquire them. BMJ 2002; 325; 697-700. 
  • Maguire P, Pitceathly C. Managing the difficult consultation. Clinical Medicine 2003:3(6): 532-7.
  • Kurz S, Silverman J, Benson J, Draper J. Marrying content and process in clinical method teaching: enhancing the Calgary-Cambridge Guides. Academic Medicine 2003:78(8): 802-809.
  • Feldman-Stewart D, Brundage MD, Tishelman C. A conceptual framework for patient-professional communication. Psycho-Oncology 2005; 14: 801-809.
  • Von Fragstein M, Silverman J, Cushing A. et al. UK consensus statement on the content of communication curricula in undergraduate medical education. Medical Education 2008: 42: 1100–1107.


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  • Gask L The consultation. ABC of Psychological Medicine series. BMJ 2002; 324; 1567-69. (3 Function Model)
  • Fischer M, Ereaut G. When doctors and patients talk: making sense of the consultation. 2012. The Health Foundation, London
  • De Haes H, Bensing J. Endpoints in medical communication research, proposing a framework of functions and outcomes. Patient Education Counseling 2009; 74:287–294 (6 Function Consultation Model)
  • Car J, Sheikh A. Telephone consultations. BMJ 2003; 326:966-969.
  • Haidet P, Paterniti DA. “Building” a history rather than “taking” one. Arch Intern Med. 2003; 163:1134-1140.
  • Barry CA, Bradley CP, Britten N et al. Patients’ unvoiced agendas in general practice consultations. BMJ 2000;320:1246-1250.
  • Rosendal M, Fink P. Management of medically unexplained symptoms. BMJ 2005; 330:5-6.
  • Fox AT, Palmer RD, Crossley JGM et al. Improving the quality of outpatient clinic letters using the Sheffield Assessment Instrument for letters (SAIL) Medical Education 2004; 38:852-858.
  • Shouten BC, Meeuwesen L. Cultural differences in medical communication: a review of the literature. Patient Education and Counseling 2006; 64: 21-34.
  • Hudelson P. Improving patient-provider communication: insights from interpreters. Family Practice 2005;22(3);311-316.


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Sharing bad news & talking about life limiting illness

  • Fallowfield L. Communicating sad, bad and difficult news in medicine. Lancet 2004:363(9405); 312-9.
  •  Clayton J, Hancock KM, Butow PN et al. Clinical practice guidelines for communicating prognosis and end-of-life issues with adults in the advanced stages of a life-limiting illness and their caregivers. Medical Journal of Australia 2007; 186(12):S77-S108.
  • Jackson V, Jacobsen J, Greer JA et al. The cultivation of prognostic awareness through the provision of early palliative care in the ambulatory setting: a communication guide. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2013;16(8): 1-7.
  • Baile W.F., Buckman R., Lenzi R. et al.  SPIKES – a six –step protocol for delivering bad news: application to the patient with cancer.  The Oncologist 2000; 5: 302-11.
  • Quill TE. Initiating end of life discussions with seriously ill patients – “Addressing the elephant in the room” JAMA 2000; 284(19): 2505-2507.
  • Von Gunten CF, Ferris FD, Emanual LL. Ensuring competency in end-of-life care: communication and relational skills. JAMA 2000; 284(23): 3051-3057.


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  • Cave J. Dealing with complaints. BMJ 2008; 336: 326-328.


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  • Elwyn G, Edwards A, Britten N. “Doing prescribing”: how doctors can be more effective. BMJ 2003; 327: 864-867. (Achieving concordance)


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Shared decision-making

  • Elwyn G, Durand MA, Song J. A three-talk model for shared decision-making. BMJ 2017;359:j4891
  • Joseph-Williams N, Lloyd A, Edwards A et al. Analysis: the challenges of shared decision-making in the NHS. BMJ 2017;357:j1744
  • Stiggelbout AM, Weijden T, De Wit M et al. Shared decision-making: really putting patients at the centre of healthcare. BMJ 2012; 344:e256.
  • Makoul G, Clayman ML. An integrative model of shared decision-making in medical encounters. Patient Education Counseling 2006; 60:301-312.
  • Epstein RM, Alper BS, Quill TE. Communicating evidence for participatory decision making. JAMA 2004; 291(19): 2359-2366.
  • Elwyn G. Implementing shared decision making in the NHS, BMJ 2010; 341:c5146
  • Marshall M. Supporting patients to make the best decisions, BMJ 2011; 342:d2117
  • Epstein RM, Alper BS, Quill TE. Communicating evidence for participatory decision making. JAMA 2004; 291(19): 2359-2366.
  • Flory J, Emanuel E. Interventions to improve research participants’ understanding in informed consent for research: a systematic review. JAMA 2004; 292(13): 1593-1601.
  • Bridson J, Hammond C, Leach A. Making consent patient centred. BMJ 2003; 327: 1159-1161
  • Say RE, Thomson R. The importance of patient preferences in treatment decisions: challenges for doctors. BMJ 2003; 327: 542-545.
  • Alaszewski A, Horlick-Jones T.  How can doctors communicate information about risk more effectively? BMJ 2003; 327:728-31.
  • Edwards A, Elwyn G, Mulley A. Explaining risks: turning numeric data into meaninful pictures. BMJ 2002; 324:827-830.


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 Motivational interviewing (behaviour change)

  • Rollnick S, Butler C, Kinnersley P. Motivational interviewing. BMJ 2010; 340:c1900.
  • Delaney G. A farewell to “heartsink”? British Journal of General Practice 2007; 57:584-585.


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Research & Education

  • Hulsman RL. Shifting goals in medical communication. Determinants of goal detection and response formation. Patient Education and Counseling2009; 74:302–308.
  • Kinnersley P, Edwards AGK, Hood K et al. The Cochrane Collaboration.  Interventions before consultations for helping patients address their information needs. (Review) The Cochrane Library 2009, Issue 3.
  • Mann K, Gordon J, MacLeod A.  Reflection and reflective practice in health professions education: a systematic review.  Adv in Health Sci Educ 2009; 14:595-621.
  • Back AL, Arnold LM, Tulsky JA et al. Teaching communication skills to medical oncology fellows. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2007; 21(12):2433-36.
  • Ammentorp J, Sabroe S, Kofoed PE, Mainz J. The effect of training in communication skills on medical doctors’ and nurses’ self-efficacy: a randomized controlled trial. Patient Education Counseling 2007; 66:270–7.
  • Fryer-Edwards K, Arnold RM, Baile W et al. Reflective teaching practices: an approach to teaching communication skills in a small-group setting. Academic Medicine 2006; 81(7):638-644.
  • Fellowes D, Wilkinson S, Moore P. Communication skills training for health professionals working with cancer patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004, Issue 2, CD003751.
  • Gysels M, Richardson A, Higginson I. Communication training for health professionals who care for patients with cancer: a systematic review of effectiveness. Supportive Care in Cancer 2004; 12:692-700.
  • Fallowfield L, Jenkins V, Farewell V et al. The efficacy of a Cancer Research UK communication skills training model for oncologists: a randomised, controlled trial. Lancet 2002; 359:650-656.
  • Wilkinson SM, Gambles M, Roberts A. The impact of training on nurses’ abilities to communicate effectively. Journal of Advanced Nursing 2002; 40:731-738.
  • Parle M, Maguire P, Heaven C. The development of a training model to improve health professionals’ skills, self efficacy and outcome expectancies when communicating with cancer patients. Social Science in Medicine 1997;44(2):231-240.
  • Maguire P, Booth K, Elliott C. Helping health professional involved in cancer care to acquire key interviewing skills – the impact of workshops. European Journal of Cancer 1996; 32(9): 1486-1489.
  • Ende J. Feedback in clinical medical education. JAMA 1983;250(6):777-781.
  • Kaufman DM. Applying educational theory in practice. BMJ 2003:326; 213-6.
  • Jaques D. Teaching small groups. BMJ 2003; 326;492-494.