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Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Apr;79(1):87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.06.004. Epub 2009 Jul 22.

SAGE & THYME: a model for training health and social care professionals in patient-focussed support.

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University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT, UK.



To develop a model for addressing the emotional concerns of patients or their caregivers; to teach the model in a three-hour workshop and to assess the impact of that training on a wide range of health and social care staff.


A multi-specialty team, including a cancer patient, developed a model based on the evidence relating to emotional support and communication skills. The model (SAGE & THYME) consists of nine steps (see Box 1). The purpose of the model is to enable staff of all grades and roles to fulfil the most important objectives of support: enabling patients to describe their concerns and emotions if they wish to do so, holding and respecting those concerns; identifying the patients' support structures; exploring the patients' own ideas and solutions before offering advice or information. Over 800 health and social care staff of all grades and students have participated in the three-hour SAGE & THYME training workshops.


Analysis from 412 participants suggests that the workshops had a significant positive effect on self-confidence (p<.0005), self-perception of competence (p<.0005) and willingness to explore the emotional concerns of patients (p<.0005). 95% felt that the workshop would be very likely to have an impact on their practice.


The workshops have been successful in increasing the self-perceptions of confidence, competence and willingness to explore the emotional concerns of patients. The model 'SAGE & THYME' has been welcomed by participants.


Staff groups will require training for patients or their caregivers to have their concerns heard without interruption and to be allowed to explore their own resolutions. The three-hour SAGE & THYME training may go some way towards helping patients and staff form sound partnerships which assist patients to participate constructively in their own care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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