Serious Illness Conversation Guide

Guide
Key Questions Answered
  • What is an effective and compassionate way to have a conversation about serious illness with a patient?
  • What are some examples of wording that have been shown to generate positive responses from patients?
Key Themes and Takeaways

This resource provides step-by-step guidance for clinicians engaging in conversation with patients about serious illness.

 

  • The basic steps are: set up the conversation; assess understanding and preferences; share prognosis; explore key topics; close the conversation; document your conversation; and communicate with key clinicians.
  • The resource includes examples of patient-tested language for each step. For example: “How much information about what is likely to be ahead with your illness would you like from me?” and “What are your most important goals if your health situation worsens?”
Population Addressed
People with Advanced Illness
Level of Evidence
Promising Evidence
Uploaded to The Playbook