Using sociodrama and psychodrama to teach communication in end-of-life care

Walter F. Baile, Ludovica De Panfilis, Silvia Tanzi, Matteo Moroni, Rebecca Walters, Guido Biasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


End-of-life discussions can be stressful and can elicit strong emotions in the provider as well as the patient and family. In palliative care, understanding and effectively addressing emotions is a key skill that can enhance professional competency and patient/family satisfaction with care. We illustrate how in coursework for a Master's degree in palliative medicine we used dramatic "action methods" derived from sociodrama and psychodrama in the portrayal of two challenging cases to train providers in the emotional aspects of caring for patients with advanced cancer. We describe the specific techniques of constructing and enacting case scenarios using warm-ups, role-creation, doubling and role-reversal. In particular, we illustrate how these techniques and others were used to reveal and address the "hidden" emotions, attitudes, and values that were central to the communication dilemma. Finally, we present an evaluation completed by the 26 participants who attended the course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1010
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Nursing(all)


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