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Eur J Cancer. 1993;29A(13):1858-63.

The effects of a 24-h psychological training program on attitudes, communication skills and occupational stress in oncology: a randomised study.

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Service de Médecine et d'Investigation Clinique, H. J. Tagnon (Unité de Réhabilitation et de Psycho-Oncologie), Institut Jules Bordet, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.


The usefulness of psychological training programs (P.T.P.) in health care settings devoted to cancer care is beginning to be recognised but their content, form and effectiveness need further investigation. Seventy-two oncology nurses were randomly assigned to a 24-h P.T.P. or to a waiting list period. Attitudes were assessed by a semantic differential questionnaire, occupational stress was assessed by the Nursing Stress Scale and communication skills were assessed by standardised videotaped role-playing exercises. These were used to compare trained (T.S.) and control subjects (C.S.). The results show a significant training effect on attitudes (P = 0.05), especially on those related to self concept (P = 0.004), and on the level of occupational stress related to inadequate preparation (P = 0.02). Limited changes were found regarding post-training communication skills. T.S. were significantly more in control of the interview than C.S. (P = 0.02). The results indicate that 24-h P.T.P. assessed here are effective. The data also demonstrate the need to consolidate the skills acquired by regular post-training sessions.

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