Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of How to Break Bad News

How to Break Bad News

A Guide for Health Care Professionals

Dr. Robert Buckman
with contributions by Yvonne Kason, M.D

Publication Date
Binding Type

Based on Buckman's award-winning training videos and Kason's courses on interviewing skills for medical students, this volume is an indispensable aid for doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, social workers, and all those in related fields.

For many health care professionals and social service providers, the hardest part of the job is breaking bad news. The news may be about a condition that is life-threatening (such as cancer or AIDS), disabling (such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis), or embarrassing (such as genital herpes). To date medical education has done little to train...

Based on Buckman's award-winning training videos and Kason's courses on interviewing skills for medical students, this volume is an indispensable aid for doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, social workers, and all those in related fields.

For many health care professionals and social service providers, the hardest part of the job is breaking bad news. The news may be about a condition that is life-threatening (such as cancer or AIDS), disabling (such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis), or embarrassing (such as genital herpes). To date medical education has done little to train practitioners in coping with such situations. With this guide Robert Buckman and Yvonne Kason provide help.

Using plain, intelligible language they outline the basic principles of breaking bad new and present a technique, or protocol, that can be easily learned. It draws on listening and interviewing skills that consider such factors as how much the patient knows and/or wants to know; how to identify the patient's agenda and understanding, and how to respond to his or her feelings about the information. They also discuss reactions of family and friends and of other members of the health care team.

Reviews

Reviews

This short, easy-to-read book... has a great potential to improve the way clinicians understand the process of breaking bad news. The book features clear writing, believable examples, and practical suggestions... Clinicians of every specialty and skill level will benefit from How to Break Bad News. Further, it should be required reading for all medical students and residents who plan to take care of people.

This is an exceptional and important book that excels in its organization, readability, practicality, value, and relevance to family medicine... The book would be helpful (and should be required reading) for health professions students, residents, and junior practitioners of all specialties, but the text is so practical that even seasoned clinicians (perhaps unaware of suboptimal communication styles) would benefit.

An expert in breaking bad news is not someone who gets it right every time; she or he is merely someone who gets it wrong less often, and who is less flustered when things do not go smoothly.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
240
ISBN
9780801844911
Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Why Breaking Bad News in Difficult
Chapter 3. Basic Communication Skills
Chapter 4. Breaking Bad News: A Six-Step Protocol
Chapter 5. The Patient's Reactions
Chapter 6

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Why Breaking Bad News in Difficult
Chapter 3. Basic Communication Skills
Chapter 4. Breaking Bad News: A Six-Step Protocol
Chapter 5. The Patient's Reactions
Chapter 6. Other Peoples' Reactions
Conclusion
Appendix. An Interview Using the Breaking-Bad-News Protocol
Notes

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Robert Buckman, M.B.B.Ch.

Robert Buckman, M.D., Ph.D. (1948–2011), was an oncologist and professor at the University of Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital. He was the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters as well as of books, including How to Break Bad News, What You Really Need to Know about Cancer, and Human Wildlife, all three published by Johns Hopkins.