[Communication strategies used by health care professionals in providing palliative care to patients].
ABSTRACT The objective of this study is to verify the relevance and utilization of communication strategies in palliative care. This is a multicenter qualitative study using a questionnaire, performed from August of 2008 to July of 2009 with 303 health care professionals who worked with patients receiving palliative care. Data were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis. Most participants (57.7%) were unable to state at least one verbal communication strategy, and only 15.2% were able to describe five signs or non-verbal communication strategies. The verbal strategies most commonly mentioned were those related to answering questions about the disease/treatment. Among the non-verbal strategies used, the most common were affective touch, looking, smiling, physical proximity, and careful listening. Though professionals have assigned a high degree of importance to communication in palliative care, they showed poor knowledge regarding communication strategies. Final considerations include the necessity of training professionals to communicate effectively in palliative care.