Communication in Cancer Care (1 credit hour)

Program Summary:  This course offers important and practical guidance for improving communication in cancer care.  The course explores patients’ differing information needs, communication styles, and decision making styles.  Strategies for communication are given and include research on disclosing bad news.  Cultural and socioeconomic factors affecting communication are discussed.

This course is recommended for social workers and counselors and is appropriate for beginning and intermediate levels of practice.

“Book  Open the Course Reading Here.

Publisher:  National Cancer Institute, NIH

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to communication in cancer care.

Learning Objectives:  Describe the benefits of good communication skills in cancer care.  Compare monitoring and blunting information styles.  Compare passive, avoidant, panicked, and rational decision makers.  Describe cultural factors affecting communication.  Identify strategies for delivering bad news.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

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1: Communication skills
2: Imparting information to the patient can
3: Research increasingly supports clinical experience in clarifying that
4: A preference for actively seeking information describes a _________________ information style.
5: Which of the following describes patients with an internal locus of control?
6: One study identified four patterns to describe how patients' emotional styles affected treatment decision making.  Which of the following describes rational decision makers?
7: Which of the following best describes the aim of informed consent?
8: A study examining health care disparities in older patients with breast cancer found that older age and Latina ethnicity received _________ interactive informational support from their physicians than did younger patients.
9: Younger and more educated patients are most likely to take a(n) ___________ role in medical decision making.
10: Which of the following does not describe typical Western values for medical decision-making?
11: Allusions, paraverbal expressions, and nonverbal behaviors are examples of
12: Communication with the patient and family entails a number of essential skills, which can be remembered as five E's including all of the following except:
13: Distorting information to put it in a better light would be an example of which patient coping style?
14: Disclosure of a cancer diagnosis progressed from the physician-centered paternalistic approach in the 1950s-60s to full disclosure by the late
15: Whereas most physicians in Western countries tell their patients that they have cancer, information about _____________ is less commonly presented.
16: It has been shown that physicians and their patients who have advanced cancers often _________________ the probability of survival.
17: In a large study of people with advanced cancer, higher health care costs at the end of life were associated with _________ quality of life at death, as rated by the patient's caregiver.
18: Research suggests that patients usually recall facts provided
19: Research suggests that patients recall most accurately those topics deemed most relevant and important to
20: Research suggests that the larger the number of statements made by a doctor, the ___________ the mean percentage recalled by the patient.
21: According to classical developmental theory, children do not fully comprehend the irreversibility of death until the approximate ages of

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2021 - 9/6/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1 continuing education credit.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City. She has practiced for many years in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.