The term denotes the ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently; good verbal, non verbal and written communication skills help facilitate the sharing of information between people. These are essential skills in palliative care: effective symptom control and accurate assessment are impossible without effective communication.
The idea that clinical practitioners automatically learn communication through experience or that they are inherently either good or bad communicators is being largely
abandoned. It is now widely believed that such skills can be taught to both students and professionals as an important part of undergraduate as well as postgraduate and continuing medical education.