Health care system approaches for cancer patient communication.
Delivery of Health Care
Patient Education as Topic
Cancer patient communication is always embedded in a complex background of inter-related parts, that is, a system. Cancer patients specifically are exposed to a health care system. Considering this context, this article summarizes the insights from a roundtable discussion involving behavioral medicine and oncology experts convened at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine as part of an annual preconference course entitled "Interpersonal Communication and Cancer Control: Emerging Themes." In this article we summarize the communication-relevant components of health care systems, focusing on the macro level. Next, we review existing theoretical frameworks for systems-based communication, the unique aspects of "systems thinking," and the emerging systems tools that can be integrated in cancer communication. Finally, we propose a research agenda for successful system approaches for patient-centered cancer communication.