The challenges and rewards of communication skills training for oncology and palliative care nurses in the United Kingdom

Sandra Winterburn, Susie Wilkinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The past three decades have witnessed a considerable growth in the amount of research directed at examining communication skills in healthcare. Earlier efforts set out to describe the problems in communication between patients and providers, whilst later studies focused on the skills to be taught and the training techniques to be used. Whilst much of this early work concentrated on the primary care setting, subsequent work developed from within the field of oncology. This chapter describes a number of key communication challenges for nurses working in a modern cancer and palliative care setting in the United Kingdom. It provides an overview of the growing evidence base for communication skills training, and relates these findings to experiences of developing and delivering training as part of the English National Advanced Communication Skills Training Programme. Finally, it makes recommendations for the future provision of post-registration nurse training by outlining a core curriculum for communication skills.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
EditorsDavid Kissane, Barry Bullitz, Phyllis Buttow, Ilora Finlay
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199238361
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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