Talk to me: seriously ill patients’ views on physician behaviours that influence the quality of end-of-life communication

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Read more about the project here.

Talk to Me was a study where patients at four hospitals in Ontario and Alberta were surveyed and interviewed to better understand the communication needs of patients engaged in end-of-life conversations with their physicians. 

Prior to the study, work at Canadian hospitals found there was often poor quality of communication between seriously ill patients and their physicians about their wishes for care at end of life. The Talk to Me results will inform ongoing efforts across Canada to improve doctors’ end-of-life communication skills. The findings will provide key information to be included in end-of-life communication skills training for physicians, and will help to design other strategies to improve the quality of end-of-life communication in Canada. 

Ultimately this will improve the care of the seriously ill. Health care providers will be more informed about their patients’ preferences for communication about end-of-life issues and be better equipped to care for patients as they consider their wishes for care at the end of life.

John You, MD, MSc, FRCPC is a hospital-based general internist who is a staff physician with Hamilton Health Sciences and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine, and of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McMaster University. He received his BSc from McMaster University, and his MD and an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. He is a member of the CLARITY (Clinical Advances Through Research and Information Translation) research group at McMaster, and an executive member of CARENET (Canadian Researchers at the End-of-Life Network), an interdisciplinary network of health care professionals from across Canada who collaborate to improve palliative and end-of-life care.  His primary clinical and scholarly interests are in improving the quality of end of life communication, decision-making, and care for seriously ill elderly patients and their families.