Communication with patients in palliative care: favoring cheerfulness and optimism

  • Monica Martins Trovo de Araújo Universidade de São Paulo - USP; Hospital Universitário
  • Maria Júlia Paes da Silva Universidade de São Paulo - USP; Escola de Enfermagem
Keywords: Hospice care, Terminally ill, Interpersonal relations, Oncologic nursing


The objective of this study was to know the expectations of patients who are in palliative care regarding communication with the nursing team. The data were collected during the first semester of 2005 through half-structured interviews among 39 oncological patients with no healing prognosis subjected to palliative chemotherapy in a hospital institution of the city of São Paulo. After transcription of the speeches, the data were analyzed according to the methodology of content analysis. From the interviewees' speeches four categories emerged. Interpersonal communication proved to be an important attribution to palliative care, with particular attention given to the professional's nonverbal signs for establishing a link of trust, the need for a compassionate presence, the desire not to focus the interaction and the relationship only on the disease and on death and to concentrate instead on cheerful verbal communication favoring optimism and good humor.


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How to Cite
Araújo, M., & Silva, M. (2007). Communication with patients in palliative care: favoring cheerfulness and optimism. Revista Da Escola De Enfermagem Da USP, 41(4), 668-674.
Original Article