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Scand J Caring Sci. 2012 Dec;26(4):698-704. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.00982.x. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

Communication skills training for health care professionals improves the adult orthopaedic patient's experience of quality of care.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kolding Hospital, a part of Lillebaelt Hospital, Kolding, Denmark.



Despite the fact that communication has become a core topic in health care, patients still experience the information provided as insufficient or incorrect and a lack of involvement.


To investigate whether adult orthopaedic patients' evaluation of the quality of care had improved after a communication skills training course for healthcare professionals.


The study was designed as an intervention study offering professionals training in communicating with patients and colleagues. The outcome was measured by assessing patients' experience of quality of care. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire and analysed using a linear regression model. Approval was obtained from the Danish Data Protection Agency.


A total of 3133 patients answered the questionnaire, 1279 before staff had attended courses and 1854 in the postcourse period, with response rates of 67.8 and 77.8%, respectively. After the course period, significant increases in responses indicating 'considerable' improvement were recorded for 15/19 questions, nonsignificant increases were registered for 3/19 questions and a statistically significant decrease for one question.


This being an effectiveness study, it is deemed that the organizational changes taking place during the study period constitute no serious limitation. Response rates were comparable to those of other studies.


Patients show increased satisfaction with the quality of health care after professionals have attended a communication skills training course, even when implemented in an entire department.


We recommend that healthcare professionals are trained in patient-centred communication and that training is extended to the entire organization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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