Misunderstandings about Prognosis: An approach for the patient who does not seem to understand what was said

Juliet Jacobsen

To prepare for end of life, patients must understand and cope with prognostic information. Yet misunderstandings, in which a patient does not seem to understand what was said, are common. In this talk, I will discuss an approach for patients who do not seem to understand the prognosis. First, I will review how patients’ healthy coping patterns can contribute to misunderstandings. Then, I will discuss how clinicians can approach patients with curiosity by generating a differential diagnosis for misunderstandings. Finally, I will share a systems solution that enables clinicians to coordinate conversations over time and across settings to support patients’ development of prognostic awareness.