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A study sponsored by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Cancer Institute is calling for more research on shared decision making in hospice care. The team that conducted the study believes this research could help hospice teams be more effective and engaged when helping families through these tough decisions. 

For hospice workers, patients and patient families communicating about end of life decisions can be difficult especially when family caregivers are remote. The study found that video conferencing could help because it adds a more personal touch to the conversation. 

"The quality of team meetings is enhanced when you have a visual image [...] It facilitates things like turn-taking and helps ensure meeting attendees are listening and engaged in the discussion.”

Although they found that while video conferencing helps with decision-making, decisions do not always get made. The study concludes that with further research, hospice teams could more effectively manage these crucial discussions and help patients and their families make the best decision for their situation. You can learn more about the study here.