Enduring impact of communication skills training: results of a 12-month follow-up

Fallowfield, L, Jenkins, V, Farewell, V and Solis-Trapala, I (2003) Enduring impact of communication skills training: results of a 12-month follow-up. British Journal of Cancer, 89 (8). pp. 1445-1449. ISSN 0007-0920

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The efficacy of a communication skills training programme was shown through a randomised trial. Oncologists (N=160) from 34 cancer centres were allocated to written feedback plus course; course alone; written feedback alone or control. Each clinician had 6 - 10 interviews with patients videotaped at baseline and 3 months postintervention. Analysis of videotapes revealed improvements in the communication skills of clinicians randomised to training (n=80) compared with others (n=80). A 12-month follow-up assessment is reported here. Robust Poisson conditional analyses of counts of changes in communication behaviours revealed no demonstrable attrition in those who had shown improvement previously, including fewer leading questions, appropriate use of focused and open-ended questions and responses to patient cues. Additional skills, not apparent at 3 months, were now evident; the estimated effect sizes corresponded to 81% fewer interruptions (P=0.001) and increased summarising of information to 38% (P=0.038). However, expressions of empathy (54%, P=0.001) declined. The overall results show that 12 - 15 months postintervention, clinicians had integrated key communication skills into clinical practice and were applying others. This is the first RCT to show an enduring effect of communication skills training with transfer into the clinic.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: communication skills training
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology Including cancer and carcinogens
Depositing User: Jil Fairclough
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2012 09:32
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 16:56
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7513
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