Communication and information


What factors are associated with good communication between the patient, their family and close friends, and the attending clinicians in the last days of life?


  1. Foster an appropriate climate based on warmth, empathy, assertiveness, and active listening, paying special attention to non-verbal communication. As and when possible, find a physical space to safeguard privacy, and dedicate sufficient time, allowing questions to be asked and doubts resolved, and also time for reflection.
  2. Identify the communication needs and expectations of people at the end of life taking into account:
    • Whether they do or do not want someone in particular to be present when decisions are made.
    • Their current awareness of and knowledge about the end-of-life situation.
    • How much information they want regarding the process they are going through.
    • Their social, cultural, religious and spiritual preferences and needs.
    • Their fears and concerns.



These recommendations aim to promote effective communication in the last days of life that would improve the drafting of the care plan and the quality of care provided. The recommendations, although they concern good clinical practice, are based on qualitative studies on the factors that influence good end-of-life communication.

Complete clinical question

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