Communicating bad news in medical practice

Young Mee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Breaking bad news to patients is one of the most difficult communication tasks to clinicians. The quality of delivery of bad news seems to be directly related to patients' anxiety and distress, strong emotions, their adjustments to bad situation, coping and satisfaction with care and clinical outcomes. Evidence has supported that health care professions' communication skills to deliver bad news can be improved by communication skills education and training. In this review, the author described the definition of bad news, patients' preferences and views on communication of bad news, some protocols or guidelines to breaking bad news, and educational effect of bad news communication skills training. In addition, the author suggested some practical tips and dialogue examples in Korean, which can be applied into clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-856
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Korean Medical Association.


  • Health communication
  • Physician-patient relations
  • Truth disclosure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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