Role of kindness in cancer care

Leonard L. Berry, Tracey S. Danaher, Robert Chapman, Rana Awdish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The wonders of high-tech cancer care are best complemented by the humanity of high-touch care. Simple kindnesses can help to diffuse negative emotions that are associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment—and may even help to improve patients’ outcomes. On the basis of our experience in cancer care and research, we propose six types of kindness in cancer care: deep listening, whereby clinicians take the time to truly understand the needs and concerns of patients and their families; empathy for the patient with cancer, expressed by both individual clinicians and the care culture, that seeks to prevent avoidable suffering; generous acts of discretionary effort that go beyond what patients and families expect from a care team; timely care that is delivered by using a variety of tools and systems that reduce stress and anxiety; gentle honesty, whereby the truth is conveyed directly in well-chosen, guiding words; and support for family caregivers, whose physical and mental well-being are vital components of the care their loved ones receive. These mutually reinforcing manifestations of kindness—exhibited by self-aware clinicians who understand that how care is delivered matters—constitute a powerful and practical way to temper the emotional turmoil of cancer for patients, their families, and clinicians themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-750
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Oncology Practice
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Cite this

Berry, Leonard L. ; Danaher, Tracey S. ; Chapman, Robert ; Awdish, Rana . / Role of kindness in cancer care. In: Journal of Oncology Practice. 2017 ; Vol. 13, No. 11. pp. 744-750.
@article{a29415e702404a679ea7d9175001186b,
title = "Role of kindness in cancer care",
abstract = "The wonders of high-tech cancer care are best complemented by the humanity of high-touch care. Simple kindnesses can help to diffuse negative emotions that are associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment—and may even help to improve patients’ outcomes. On the basis of our experience in cancer care and research, we propose six types of kindness in cancer care: deep listening, whereby clinicians take the time to truly understand the needs and concerns of patients and their families; empathy for the patient with cancer, expressed by both individual clinicians and the care culture, that seeks to prevent avoidable suffering; generous acts of discretionary effort that go beyond what patients and families expect from a care team; timely care that is delivered by using a variety of tools and systems that reduce stress and anxiety; gentle honesty, whereby the truth is conveyed directly in well-chosen, guiding words; and support for family caregivers, whose physical and mental well-being are vital components of the care their loved ones receive. These mutually reinforcing manifestations of kindness—exhibited by self-aware clinicians who understand that how care is delivered matters—constitute a powerful and practical way to temper the emotional turmoil of cancer for patients, their families, and clinicians themselves.",
author = "Berry, {Leonard L.} and Danaher, {Tracey S.} and Robert Chapman and Rana Awdish",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1200/JOP.2017.026195",
language = "English",
volume = "13",
pages = "744--750",
journal = "Journal of Oncology Practice",
issn = "1554-7477",
publisher = "American Society of Clinical Oncology",
number = "11",

}

Berry, LL, Danaher, TS, Chapman, R & Awdish, R 2017, 'Role of kindness in cancer care', Journal of Oncology Practice, vol. 13, no. 11, pp. 744-750. https://doi.org/10.1200/JOP.2017.026195

Role of kindness in cancer care. / Berry, Leonard L.; Danaher, Tracey S.; Chapman, Robert ; Awdish, Rana .

In: Journal of Oncology Practice, Vol. 13, No. 11, 01.11.2017, p. 744-750.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Role of kindness in cancer care

AU - Berry, Leonard L.

AU - Danaher, Tracey S.

AU - Chapman, Robert

AU - Awdish, Rana

PY - 2017/11/1

Y1 - 2017/11/1

N2 - The wonders of high-tech cancer care are best complemented by the humanity of high-touch care. Simple kindnesses can help to diffuse negative emotions that are associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment—and may even help to improve patients’ outcomes. On the basis of our experience in cancer care and research, we propose six types of kindness in cancer care: deep listening, whereby clinicians take the time to truly understand the needs and concerns of patients and their families; empathy for the patient with cancer, expressed by both individual clinicians and the care culture, that seeks to prevent avoidable suffering; generous acts of discretionary effort that go beyond what patients and families expect from a care team; timely care that is delivered by using a variety of tools and systems that reduce stress and anxiety; gentle honesty, whereby the truth is conveyed directly in well-chosen, guiding words; and support for family caregivers, whose physical and mental well-being are vital components of the care their loved ones receive. These mutually reinforcing manifestations of kindness—exhibited by self-aware clinicians who understand that how care is delivered matters—constitute a powerful and practical way to temper the emotional turmoil of cancer for patients, their families, and clinicians themselves.

AB - The wonders of high-tech cancer care are best complemented by the humanity of high-touch care. Simple kindnesses can help to diffuse negative emotions that are associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment—and may even help to improve patients’ outcomes. On the basis of our experience in cancer care and research, we propose six types of kindness in cancer care: deep listening, whereby clinicians take the time to truly understand the needs and concerns of patients and their families; empathy for the patient with cancer, expressed by both individual clinicians and the care culture, that seeks to prevent avoidable suffering; generous acts of discretionary effort that go beyond what patients and families expect from a care team; timely care that is delivered by using a variety of tools and systems that reduce stress and anxiety; gentle honesty, whereby the truth is conveyed directly in well-chosen, guiding words; and support for family caregivers, whose physical and mental well-being are vital components of the care their loved ones receive. These mutually reinforcing manifestations of kindness—exhibited by self-aware clinicians who understand that how care is delivered matters—constitute a powerful and practical way to temper the emotional turmoil of cancer for patients, their families, and clinicians themselves.

U2 - 10.1200/JOP.2017.026195

DO - 10.1200/JOP.2017.026195

M3 - Article

VL - 13

SP - 744

EP - 750

JO - Journal of Oncology Practice

JF - Journal of Oncology Practice

SN - 1554-7477

IS - 11

ER -