Challenging conversations with terminally ill patients and their loved ones: Strategies to improve giving information in palliative care
Journal article, 2014

Objective: The aim of the study was to explore the skills and strategies employed by professionals when having difficult conversations to provide information to loved ones as part of palliative care. Method: A qualitative design was chosen with in-depth interviews with nurses, assistant nurses and doctors a Hospital in Sweden and were analysed using content analysis. Results: The interviews produced examples of strategies used by professionals when imparting difficult information to patient and loved ones. The results fell into three areas: ‘Who is giving information’, ‘Structuring the conversation’ and ‘Different ways to convey a difficult message’. Conclusion: Using conversational skills and strategies in combination with a carefully planned structure appeared to facilitate difficult conversations with patients and loved ones. Further research is required, related to the specific circumstances in which the conversation takes place.

Palliative care


Inger Benkel

University of Gothenburg

Helle Wijk

University of Gothenburg

Ulla Molander

University of Gothenburg

SAGE Open Medicine

2050-3121 (ISSN)

Vol. 2 2050312114532456

Subject Categories

Health Sciences



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