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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123

Abstract

GUERRA, Fernando Antônio Ramos; MIRLESSE, Véronique  and  BAIAO, Ana Elisa Rodrigues. Breaking bad news during prenatal care: a challenge to be tackled. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.5, pp. 2361-2367. ISSN 1413-8123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000500002.

Communicating an unfavorable diagnosis during prenatal care is a growing challenge in clinical practice, as more and more tests are being performed to screen for the main conditions affecting the pregnant woman and her fetus. The way patients receive and subsequently deal with bad news is directly influenced by how the news is communicated by the attending physician. Unfortunately, physicians receive little or no training in communicating bad news, and they generally feel quite uncomfortable about doing so. Although many physicians consider the saying that "there's no good way to break bad news" to be the truth, the maxim does not reflect the true picture. The scope of this article is to discuss, in light of the scientific literature and the experience of fetal medicine services, some recommendations that can help to deal with these difficult moments and improve patient care for the remainder of the pregnancy.

Keywords : Communication; Bad news; Ultrasound; Fetal medicine; Malformation.

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