Communication Skills for Critical Care Family Meetings

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Excellent communication is a foundation of shared decision making. As discussed throughout this book, shared decision-making is a collaborative process of (1) exchanging medical and personal information about patients’ values, goals and preferences, (2) deliberation about how to apply these values to the clinical situation and (3) development of a treatment plan that reflects these values. This process is a very complex communication task. Unskilled clinicians may leave decisions largely to the discretion of surrogates without providing adequate support, and surrogates may struggle to make patient-centered decisions rather than decisions based on their own values, resulting in higher levels of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.1 Conversely, in a recent study of recorded family meetings regarding ICU decision-making, fewer than one-half included deliberation about how to apply a patient’s values and preferences to the clinical situation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShared Decision Making in Adult Critical Care
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781108633246
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2021.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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