Communication Between Clinicians and Their Heart Failure Patients and Families

Sarah J. Goodlin, Timothy E. Quill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter summarizes what is known about communication between clinicians and heart failure (HF) patients (and families), and proposes approaches to important aspects of communication, based on literature developed largely in oncology and general medical care. It begins by addressing general principles of physician communication with patients. The communication issues at initial diagnosis of 'HF', communication issues during the early phases, and communication issues that cut across all phases of HF are explored. The chapter then explains the exacerbations and remissions, gradual functional decline, exploration of invasive measures, maximizing quality of life, and preparation for the likelihood of death. Although few data exist to inform communication between physicians, or other healthcare providers, and their HF patients, approaches to physician- patient communication from research in other conditions can be applied to HF care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSupportive Care in Heart Failure
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191730030
ISBN (Print)9780198570288
StatePublished - Nov 17 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinicians
  • Communication
  • Death
  • Diagnosis
  • Families
  • Heart failure
  • Patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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