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Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Apr;99(4):610-616. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2015.11.021. Epub 2015 Nov 24.

Responding empathically to patients: Development, implementation, and evaluation of a communication skills training module for oncology nurses.

Author information

1
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA.
2
University of Pennsylvania, USA.
3
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA; Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar; Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar. Electronic address: cab2037@qatar-med.cornell.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this paper is to report on the development, implementation, and evaluation of a Communication Skills Training (CST) module for inpatient oncology nurses on how to respond empathically to patients.

METHODS:

248 nurses from a USA cancer center participated in a CST module on responding empathically to patients. Nurses completed pre- and post-training Standardized Patient Assessments (SPAs), a survey on their confidence in and intent to utilize skills taught, and a six-month post-training survey of self-reported use of skills.

RESULTS:

Results indicate that nurses were satisfied with the module, reporting that agreement or strong agreement to 5 out of 6 items assessing satisfaction 96.7%-98.0% of the time. Nurses' self-efficacy in responding empathically significantly increased pre- to post-training. Additionally, nurses showed empathy skill improvement in the post-SPAs. Finally, 88.2% of nurses reported feeling confident in using the skills they learned post-training and reported an increase of 42-63% in the use of specific empathic skills.

CONCLUSIONS:

A CST module for nurses in responding empathically to patients showed feasibility, acceptability, and improvement in self-efficacy as well as skill uptake.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

This CST module provides an easily targeted intervention for improving nurse-patient communication and patient-centered care.

KEYWORDS:

Communication skills training; Empathy; Healthcare communication; Nurse-patient communication

PMID:
26686992
PMCID:
PMC4962546
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2015.11.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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