Dialog Box


Mastering communication skills helps all health professionals to balance empathy and hope when discussing advanced illness, a referral to palliative care, advance care goals and end of life care with patients and their families.
Vital Talk Website

Vital Talk specializes in advanced communication skills focused on balancing honesty with empathy when discussing serious illness and end of life care. This websites provides excellent videos, resources and training for health professionals produced by internationally renowned experts in this field: Dr Robert Arnold, Dr Anthony Back, Dr James Tulsky and Dr Kelly Edwards.

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Clinical Practice Guidelines on Communication

Clinical practice guidelines for communicating prognosis and end-of-life issues with adults in the advanced stages of a life-limiting illness, and their caregivers. By Josephine Clayton, Karen Hancock, Phyllis Butow, Martin Tattersall & D Currow, 2007

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Thinking Ahead - planning care for children with life-limiting conditions

Talking with children and families about death is one of the most difficult yet most important things a paediatrician must do. This resource is intended to assist clinicians with the difficult task of advance care planning.

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Advance care planning - have the conversation: A strategy for Victorian health services 2014-2018

A Victorian Government framework to guide the implementation of advance care planning across Victorian health services.

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Better Health Channel - advance care planning

A simple guide to having the conversation and writing down you wishes about future care you want if you are no longer able to make decisions. Includes links to other useful websites.

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Communication at the end of life

Effective communication at end of life is an important part of quality care. This podcast provides useful guidance on effective communication in this context. 

Associate Professor Brian Le is a Palliative Care Physician and Medical Oncologist. He is Director of Palliative Care at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Duration 15 minutes

Preparing families for an imminent death

This podcast considers the inhibitors and enablers of effective communication with families so health professionals can prepare families for an imminent death, make the most of the time remaining, and minimize complex bereavement. 

Molly Carlile has a clinical nursing and leadership background in palliative care and regularly speaks about death and dying in the community, in the media and in the health and education sectors.

Duration 15 minutes

Preparing children for death in the family

This podcast provides guidance on providing timely, trusting, honest and appropriate communication that involves children when a family member is dying. 

Molly Carlile has a clinical and leadership background in palliative care and regularly speaks aobut death and dying issues in the community, in the media and in the health and education sectors.

Duration 14 minutes