Conducting a family meeting

David W. Kissane, Courtney Hempton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Family meetings in oncology occur most commonly in four settings. The first is soon after diagnosis, when the patient and family are being oriented to the disease, potential treatment options, and the system of care with available supports. The second is in the setting of an inpatient admission, when goals of care need to be redefined and treatment options reviewed. The third is during palliative care, where the support of the family in planning ongoing care is essential to optimize such care. And the fourth is when there is conflict about the direction of care, sometimes in the setting of a patient with impaired capacity, when the medical staff and the patient's healthcare proxy disagree with goals of care and treatment. Family meetings are commonly held in paediatric oncology or genetic counseling settings. Some meetings are held 'impromptu' - the opportunity presents itself when staff and the family are available and the meeting is held.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Textbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
EditorsDavid W. Kissane, Barry D. Bultz, Phyllis N. Butow, Carma L. Bylund, Simon Noble, Susie Wilkinson
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780198736134
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • communication skills training; palliative care; oncology

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