Everyone carries responsibility for healthy communication. Actively participating in your health care helps to open the lines of communication between you, your family members, caregivers and your healthcare team.
Communicating Your Symptoms & Side Effects
Wendy Harpham, M.D., a physician and multiple-time cancer survivor, talks about side effects and how to discuss them with your doctor. She speaks from the wisdom of her own cancer experience and also that of treating patients in her practice. This program is created by the Interpersonal Communication and Relationship Enhancement program at MD Anderson.
The University of Texas MD Anderson’s I*Care Interpersonal Care and Relationship Enhancement program has created an easy pocket guide to help you communicate your symptoms to your healthcare team.
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship has compiled this booklet of tips and tools to help you communicate with your healthcare team.
SpeakSooner™ ask questions now, live the answers program looks at the treatment and management of serious illness conversations that must begin with you, the patient. The toolkit includes a video and Difficult Conversations Workbook (free downloadable PDF) which helps patients understand and communicate their values, concerns and priorities so they can get the support they need and become more effective partners in their care.
Becoming an Empowered and Engaged Patient
This document, created by the Center for Advancing Health (CFAH), assembles a complete list of behaviors and describes the actions that individuals and/or their healthcare providers must perform in order to maximally benefit from health care.
The Center for Advancing Health provides resources that help you get the most out of your doctor’s appointments, talking about medical tests, asking your doctor questions, talking about your symptoms, and understanding your prescriptions.
NIH OCCAM Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine – Talking about Complementary and Alternative Medicine with Health Care Providers: A Workbook and Tips
This workbook is designed to help you talk with your health care provider(s) about your complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use during and after your cancer care. This workbook can be used in its entirety or as individual sheets to best meet your needs and interests.
CFAH provides excellent resources to “help patients find good health care and make the most of it.” The Center encourages patients to be actively involved in their health care. “Be a Prepared Patient” topics include finding good health care, participating in treatment plans, communicating with your healthcare team, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, organizing and paying for care, getting preventive care, finding accurate information about your care, understanding your risk for other diseases, sharing your medical information with other physicians, making good treatment decisions, and planning for end-of-life care.
Schwartz has compiled a list of ways to better prepare for visits with healthcare providers (caregivers). They have also presented wonderful webinars on compassion and communication, and created the document Your Right To Compassionate Health Care.