The Role of the Psychologist in the Communication Context of Bad Notice in Pediatric Oncology
- Communication, Diagnosis, Psychology
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Background: The news of a diagnosis such as cancer is quite scary for the patient and family members. This disease is surrounded by prejudices and representations, which hinders the provision of information in the context of health. In this context, there are confusions and expectations of health professionals and family members about the professional who should communicate a difficult diagnosis, and the psychologist is pointed out as a possible responsible for such a mission.
Objective: to report the experience of the psychologist in the context of bad news in pediatric childhood oncology.
Methodology: Experience report.
Results and discussion: Before any reflection, it is important to understand that health professionals when they are going to communicate bad news should preserve the patient’s autonomy, the right to know about his illness. Lay people and some health professionals try to direct this task to the psychologist, assuming that they have more professional resources in their academic training for this. The psychologist does not communicate diagnosis, or bad news, but supports the patient in these moments, acting in partnership with the multiprofessional team. The whole team participates, but the doctor is responsible for communicating. And he counts on the psychologist to support the child and his family, who in pediatric oncology resorts to the recreational resources to facilitate this process for the child. They can use toys, tell stories, stimulate drawings, actions that favor understanding and confrontation by the patient, considering their desire, providing autonomy, respect and dignity. This is not an easy task, but the psychologist must do personal psychological work, to better deal with this context and to succeed in their interventions.
Conclusion: Studies need to be done on this subject with health professionals about the professional’s perception of such work, as well as about the curricula of health courses, especially the doctor who needs in his training to prepare for the communication of bad news.