Supportive Care

GUIDE Communication Framework: Developing Skills to Improve Nurse–Patient Interactions

Nina N. Grenon

Sven Keersmaecker

Fransen McGinley

oncology, communication, education, patient participation, shared decision-making
CJON 2021, 25(6), 623-627. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.623-627

GUIDE is a communication framework that helps nurses to empower patients through guidance and support. The five letters in GUIDE stand for gaining insight into the goals of treatment and care, understanding the gaps in the patient’s knowledge, informing and educating, directing to additional support, and empowering patients. With the GUIDE communication framework, nurses are supported in being active members of the interprofessional team and participating in shared decision-making. The Ask-Tell-Ask model also allows nurses to discover patients’ knowledge gaps and provide efficient education.


  • The five steps of the GUIDE communication framework empower nurses to educate, guide, and support patients and caregivers throughout the cancer trajectory.
  • Gaining insight into the patient’s goals of treatment and care and understanding gaps in the patient’s knowledge allows nurses to provide effective information and education to patients.
  • Directing patients and caregivers to additional support, as well as empowering patients by allowing active participation in the shared decision-making and treatment processes, are part of the nurse’s role in the interprofessional team.
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