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Patient Educ Couns. 2018 Nov;101(11):1924-1933. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2018.05.026. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

A rigorous evaluation of an institutionally-based communication skills program for post-graduate oncology trainees.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 641 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022, United States. Electronic address: carma.bylund@ufl.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 641 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022, United States.
3
Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, United States.
4
Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue New York, NY 10065, United States.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Integrating education about physician-patient communication into oncology specialists' education is important to improve quality of care. Our aim was to rigorously evaluate a 4-year institutionally-based patient communication skills program for oncology post-graduate trainees.

METHODS:

Trainees from 10 specialties in the U.S. participated in patient communication skills modules tailored to sub-specialties. The program was evaluated by comparing pre-post scores on hierarchical outcomes: course evaluation, self-confidence, skills uptake in standardized and real patient encounters, and patient evaluations of satisfaction with communication. We examined breadth of skill usage as key outcome. Generalized estimating equations were used in data analysis.

RESULTS:

Two hundred and sixty-two trainees' data were analyzed, resulting in 984 standardized and 753 real patient encounters. Participants reported high satisfaction and demonstrated significant skill growth with standardized patients, but transfer of these skills into real patient encounters was incomplete. Participants with lower baseline scores had larger improvements with both standardized and real patients.

CONCLUSION:

The program was well received and increased participant skills in the simulated setting without effective transfer to real patient encounters.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Future work should allocate proportionally greater resources to trainees with lower baseline scores and measure breadth of participant skill usage as an outcome.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer communication; Communication skills training; Experiential learning; Graduate medical education; Patient simulation; Physician-patient relationship

PMID:
29880404
PMCID:
PMC6755908
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2018.05.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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