The Conspiracy of Silence: Effective Communication Strategies in Nursing Care

Section: Práctica Clínica

How to quote

Domínguez Eguizábal M. La conspiración del silencio: estrategias de comunicación efectiva en los cuidados enfermeros. Metas Enferm feb 2020; 23(1):59-64. Doi:


Marta Domínguez Eguizábal


Enfermera. Centro de Salud Puerta de Arnedo. Arnedo (La Rioja)

Contact address

Marta Domínguez Eguizábal. C/ Juan Carlos I, 6. 26580 Arnedo (La Rioja).

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Hiding information from the patient in order to omit their disease diagnosis or prognosis is a current phenomenon; this is caused by different situations, and the express request by relatives stands out among these. This can lead to negative consequences for all those involved in the process: the patient, the family and the professionals. In these highly complex circumstances, the role of nurses is not clear in terms of communicating bad news or using the adequate communication strategies.
The case of an advanced-age female patient diagnosed with multiple myeloma, with diagnosis and prognosis known by the family but unknown to her, was the basis for considering the need to describe the communication strategies that might be helpful for professionals in similar situations.
It is necessary to encourage educational and practical learning, with clear communication strategies, within a frame of collaboration between the multidisciplinary team, clearly determining the roles of the members involved.


Empathetic communication; bad news; patient-centered communication techniques

Versión en Español


La conspiración del silencio: estrategias de comunicación efectiva en los cuidados enfermeros