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Hands-on course on Delivering Bad News


Effective communication skills are a key element in the doctor-patient relationship. Delivering bad news is an advanced and complex core competency required from health professionals. It includes not only a verbal component - associated with the content of the message, but also an emotional component - responding to the emotional cues of those receiving the bad news, coping with stress and expectations of patients and family members.

 Although Medical Education already includes components of communication skills, there is still little investment in the training of delivering of bad news. When not adequately delivered, there may be a compromise in the process of adaptation to the news, both by patients and their families, may cause a greater distance in the doctor-patient relationship and also increase the fears that many health professionals may develop in these circumstances, namely being blamed, not having certainties and the confrontation with the fear of their illness and death.

In this context there is a need to provide advanced experiential training to health professionals.


The general objectives of this training are:
  • Promote reflection on the meaning of bad news;
  • Identify barriers in delivering bad news;
  • Learn to apply a protocol on delivering bad news;
  • Identify challenging situations during the communication of bad news and develop some coping mechanisms through reflective practice;
  • Experiential training of delivering bad news

Competências Profissionais

After this course, participants will be capable of:
  • Using a model / protocol to deliver bad news;
  • Identify and deal more adaptively with emotionally challenging situations;
  • Identify and respond effectively and empathically to patients' emotional cues;
  • Understanding the importance of reflective practice


Administration: FMUP

Coordinator: Elizabete Loureiro, PhD

Eligibility: Health Professionals.

Applicants ranking criteria: Curricular assessment (50%), degree (10%) and professional experience (40%)

Accreditation: 2 ECTS

Language: Portuguese

Fee: 200¤

Positions: Minimum: 6; Maximum: 12

Application deadline:

First phase:

1st EDITION: 28.08.2017 to 27.09.2017

2nd EDITION: 15.12.2017 to 15.01.2018

3rd EDITION: 15.02.2018 to 15.03.2018   

Second Phase: N/A

Starting date:

1st EDITION – November, 16th- 17th, 2017

2nd EDITION – March, 15th – 16th, 2018

3rd EDITION – May 17th – 18th, 2018


Schedule: 9h30m to 19h00m



Mailing /contact address:

Department for Research and Graduate Studies - educacaocontinua@med.up.pt

Academic Division – servicoacademico@med.up.pt

Coordinator – Elizabete Loureiro, emfl@med.up.pt

Website: www.med.up.pt


Dados Gerais

Docente Responsável: Elizabete Loureiro
Acronym: CPCMN
Tipo de curso/ciclo de estudos: Continuing Training Unit
Start: 2017/2018
Duration: 54 Hour

Study Plan



  • Hands-on course on Delivering Bad News (2 ECTS credits)

Áreas Científicas Predominantes

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