Difficult Conversations Within Healthcare: a Pilot Study

Brett Williams, Bronwyn Beovich, Tanya Edlington, Geoff Flemming, Grant Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Adverse effects resulting from medical care such as patient injury, disability, or death are believed to be preventable in many cases. Communication failures have been shown to contribute substantially to these adverse healthcare outcomes. Many healthcare professionals witness colleagues demonstrating a lack of skill, mistakes, or unwillingness to follow safety procedures, but most are unwilling to discuss their concerns. This pilot study is the first to explore experiences of these issues in an Australian health service. Findings suggest that healthcare professionals find such conversations enormously difficult and that this may have subsequent deleterious effects on patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Difficult conversations
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Healthcare service
  • Medical errors

Cite this