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Prenat Diagn. 1995 Apr;15(4):317-24.

Training obstetricians and midwives to present screening tests: evaluation of two brief interventions.

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Psychology and Genetics Research Group, UMDS, London, U.K.


The objective of this study was to assess the effects of two brief training interventions to improve obstetricians' and midwives' explanations to patients of a routine prenatal screening test. Health professionals were randomly allocated to one of two intervention groups or a control group. Information-giving about the test and communication skills were assessed at baseline, post-training and 3-month follow-up from audiotaped consultations. Both intervention groups received a 1-h training session involving small group discussions focused around a video. In addition, one group received individual feedback on their baseline and post-training consultations. Twenty-six midwives and nine obstetricians completed the study according to the protocol. Changes between baseline and post-training, and between baseline and follow-up, were computed. Information-giving and communication skills improved significantly in subjects receiving training and feedback on their performance, with the greatest improvements occurring before feedback was given. Those receiving training without feedback significantly improved their communication skills and showed some improvement in information-giving. These results show that modest improvements in communication can be made with relatively brief training. Greater and more sustained improvements may be found if all staff were trained, and trained on a regular basis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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