Serious Illness Conversation Guide

Steps to elicit important information from your patients about their goals and values

The global unit selector only affects unanswered questions
1.Set up the conversation >> Introduce the idea and benefits, Ask permission
2.Assess illness understanding and information preferences
3.Share prognosis >> Tailor information to patient preference, Allow silence, explore emotion
4.Explore key topics >> Goals, Fears and worries, Sources of strength, Critical abilities, Tradeoffs, Family
5.Close the conversation >> Summarize what you’ve heard, Make a recommendation, Affirm your commitment to the patient
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1. Set up the conversation >> Introduce the idea and benefits, Ask permission

More Information

Patient-tested language:

“I’m hoping we can talk about where things are with your illness and where they might be going - is this okay?”

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