National Cancer Institute
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Outcomes Research Branch
Cancer Control and Population Sciences
This page links to some files in Portable Document Format (PDF).


Patient-Centered Communication in Cancer Care: Promoting Healing and Reducing Suffering

Effective patient-clinician communication is central to the delivery of high-quality care. It becomes even more crucial in the cancer setting where patients have to deal with stress, uncertainty, complex information, and life-altering medical decisions. To encourage and inform future research that would help facilitate the delivery of patient-centered communication between cancer patients/family and the health care delivery team(s) across the cancer care continuum, the Outcomes Research Branch (ORB), in collaboration with the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch (HCIRB), commissioned this monograph, Patient-Centered Communication in Cancer Care: Promoting Healing and Reducing Suffering.

The monograph lays the foundation for future innovative research in the area of patient-centered communication in oncology as well as other illness settings. Highlights include:

  • Conceptualization of patient-centered communication into six key functions;
  • Emphasis on research that examines the relationship between patient-centered communication and patient health outcomes;
  • Detailed discussion of potential mediating and moderating mechanisms of the association between communication and patient outcomes; and
  • Identification of specific research priorities that would guide NCI in planning future research initiatives in this important area.

The monograph is provided below in Portable Document Format (PDF). A printed copy can also be obtained at no cost by calling 1-800-4-CANCER or by ordering online from NCI Publications Locator (search by monograph title). For non-US shipping addresses, e-mail

Recommended Citation

Epstein RM, Street RL Jr. Patient-Centered Communication in Cancer Care: Promoting Healing and Reducing Suffering. National Cancer Institute, NIH Publication No. 07-6225. Bethesda, MD, 2007.

Copyright Information

All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; please use the recommended citation for source attribution.

Last modified:
08 Jan 2008
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