The patients and their close family members get all necessary information concerning the cancer prognosis, benefits of treatment and the harms, the importance of psychosocial support and palliative cancer as well as the cost of care (DiCenso, Guyatt, & Ciliska, 2014). Communication between the patients and the clinicians should aid in decision making on cancer therapy, psychological support, and palliative care during the cancer care continuum (LoBiondo-Wood, & Haber, 2017). The care team of clinicians needs to revisit the patient’s advanced care plans, offer psychological support, palliative care as well as timely hospice referral during the last days of the patient’s life. Communication between the patient and the clinician faces many challenges (DiCenso, Guyatt, & Ciliska, 2014). The patient may fail to speak openly about his or her concern and feeling. The language barrier and low health literacy are also factors that hinder communication and viable decision making.
DiCenso, Guyatt and Ciliska (2014) assert that the rate of increase in cancer patients globally is alarming. Equally, the delivery system of cancer care is encountering many challenges especially in meeting the requirement of cancer patients and the families (LoBiondo-Wood, & Haber, 2017). The stereotype, stigma, and fear of death associated with cancer patients hinder them from making sound decisions about their health. Patients need additional support from medical providers to help make decisions consistent with their needs, preferences, and values (DiCenso, Guyatt, & Ciliska, 2014). They need information that can help them understand their disease, the available treatment options as well as the cost of care. Most patients do not know or even understand what treatment they have received, its consequences or also the goal of that treatment.
LoBiondo-Wood and Haber (2017) argue that cancer patients require evidence-based practice (EBP). EBP means integrating clinical expertise, research evidence, and patient’s values into decision-making process concerning patient’s care (LoBiondo-Wood, & Haber, 2017). The clinical expertise implies the clinician’s experience, education and also clinical skills. The patient brings in his or her personal preferences, values, expectations and concerns. The research evidence is one done using sound methodology. Usually, the clinicians through their expertise in patient-centered communication apply a system that supports them in making an informed medical decision which is consistent with their values, preferences, and needs (DiCenso, Guyatt, & Ciliska, 2014). The patient is attended by adequately trained, a coordinated workforce which is a system that offers competent, interpersonal and trusted cancer care aligned with the patient’s values, needs, and preferences.
DiCenso, A., Guyatt, G., & Ciliska, D. (2014). Evidence-Based Nursing-E-Book: A Guide to Clinical Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.
LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2017). Nursing Research-E-Book: Methods and Critical Appraisal for Evidence-Based Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences