August 11, 2020
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Covid-19 Communications

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  1. Nathan Graydocent1,
  2. Anthony L Back, co-founder of VitalTalk, professor2
  1. 1School of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, USA

  2. 2School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Conformity

The disease associated with the new coronavirus has caused a global crisis, and many doctors face unexpected and difficult conversations. This guide is a graphic medical text adaptation that was created to give you practical insight into how to talk about difficult topics related to covid-19. During the early spread of the pandemic, written text and subsequent illustrations were created to facilitate the rapid exchange of communication skills with doctors in various disciplines. The primary text was prepared by the non-profit organization VitalTalk, which conducts trainings to support conversations about serious diseases.

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This guide is not intended to be comprehensive, but it is a starting point for improving communication with those who are affected by this disease.

Original text on,

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  • Provenance and review: not ordered; externally peer-reviewed.

  • Patient participation: no patient was directly involved in the creation of this article.

  • Competing interests: The VitalTalk covid-19 information guide was released in March 2020 and is distributed free of charge on the Internet. The initial graphic versions of this work were also adapted in March and freely distributed through social networks for the timely dissemination of communication strategies among doctors. VitalTalk is a non-profit organization. Neither Nathan Gray nor VitalTalk benefited financially from this guide.

This article has been made freely available for use in accordance with the conditions of the BMJ website for the period of the covid-19 pandemic or until the BMJ determines otherwise. You can use, download and print the article for any legal, non-commercial purposes (including extracting text and data), provided that all copyright and trademark notices are preserved.


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