Effective communication is essential to the practice of pediatric oncology. Clear and empathic delivery of diagnostic and prognostic information positively impacts the ways in which patients and families cope. Honest, compassionate discussions regarding goals of care and hopes for patients approaching end of life can provide healing when other therapies have failed. Effective communication and the positive relationships it fosters also can provide comfort to families grieving the loss of a child. A robust body of evidence demonstrates the benefits of optimal communication for patients, families, and healthcare providers. This review aims to identify key communication skills that healthcare providers can employ throughout the illness journey to provide information, encourage shared decision-making, promote therapeutic alliance, and empathically address end-of-life concerns. By reviewing the relevant evidence and providing practical tips for skill development, we strive to help healthcare providers understand the value of effective communication and master these critical skills.
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Blazin, L., Cecchini, C., Habashy, C., Kaye, E., & Baker, J. (2018). Communicating Effectively in Pediatric Cancer Care: Translating Evidence into Practice.. Children (Basel), 5 (3). http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/children5030040