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BMC Med Educ. 2008 Feb 11;8:8. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-8-8.

Enhancing communication skills for pediatric visits through on-line training using video demonstrations.

Author information

1
Departments of Pediatrics and Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA. kkemper@wfubmc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Training in communication skills for health professionals is important, but there are substantial barriers to individual in-person training for practicing clinicians. We evaluated the feasibility and desirability of on-line training and sought suggestions for future courses.

METHODS:

Based on successful in-person curricula for communication skills and our previous on-line curricula, we created an on-line course consisting of 28 modules (4.75 hours CME credit) about communication skills during pediatric visits that included a mental health concern; each module included a brief case, a multiple choice question, an explanation, and a 1-2 minute video demonstrating key skills. Specific communication skills included: greeting, setting an agenda, discussing diagnosis and treatment, and managing negative interactions. The course was announced by emails in spring, 2007; the course was available on-line for 60 days; we aimed to enroll 50 clinicians. Outcomes were analyzed for those who evaluated the course within 75 days of its initial availability.

RESULTS:

Overall, 61 clinicians registered, of whom most were nurses (N = 24), physicians (N = 22), or psychologists or social workers (N = 12). Of the 36 (59%) clinicians who evaluated the course, over 85% agreed that all course objectives had been met; over 90% reported greater confidence in greetings and agenda-setting; and over 80% reported greater confidence in discussing diagnosis and treatment and managing negative interactions. Nearly all, 97% would recommend the course to other clinicians and trainees. Suggestions for improvement included a library of additional video vignettes and written materials to accompany the on-line training.

CONCLUSION:

On-line training in communication skills for pediatric mental health visits is feasible, desirable and associated with increased confidence in key skills. Positive feedback from clinicians suggests that a comparison of on-line versus in-person training is warranted.

PMID:
18267028
PMCID:
PMC2262077
DOI:
10.1186/1472-6920-8-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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