Many patients and families are under significant strain. Clear communication can provide reassurance and guidance. This can help improve quality of life while they are approaching death and help them make decisions on complex matters.
Good communication can avoid confusion or misunderstanding and guide realistic expectations. This ultimately improves the quality of care.
However, conflict can occur between:
This may occur when there is disagreement about the most appropriate management plan or whether a person’s expectations of care are being met.
Conflict can arise within a care team when:
In any situation, conflict can arise from:
Identify and recognise the disagreement or conflict as early as possible and make other members of the care team aware if it is likely to affect the person’s care.
For conflict with a person receiving care or conflict within a family, you can:
'I believe that there’s been a misunderstanding in terms of… If we were to … do you think that that could improve the situation?'
'Could we list a couple of options, then spend a minute talking about the pros and cons?'
'If […] were able to talk to us, what do you think they would want us to know?'
For conflict within the care team, you can:
'I believe that there’s been a misunderstanding in terms of… If we were to …, do you think that that could improve the situation?'
'It seems to me that we are both interested in [the patient’s well-being].'
'Perhaps we should consider [action] [timeline] as a sign of whether we are going in the right direction?'
This information was drawn from the following resources:
Watch VitalTalk's Defusing Conflicts
Get tips from End-of-Life Essentials
Access more Dealing with Conflict Resources
Page updated 14 October 2022