Trial published in JCO suggests even experienced clinicians benefit from communication skills training… AND so do their patients!
A study by Fujimori and colleagues examined the effects of a person-centred communication skills training program for 30 oncologists who were randomised to either receive the training or not. A total of 1,192 patients who had consultations with participating oncologists reported their psychological distress, satisfaction, and trust in the oncologist. In addition, oncologists were objectively assessed on their performance and confidence in communication using simulated, videotaped consultations. Those oncologists who received the training improved on several communication outcomes. While the training did not significantly impact patient’s satisfaction with their oncologist, patients reported greater trust in their oncologist and less depression. Results suggest experienced clinicians (9.3 – 30.3 years of practice) can benefit from communication skills training, and accordingly, so do their patients.
Study reference: Fujimori M, Shirai Y, Asai M, Kubota K, Katsumata N, Uchitomi Y. The effect of communication skills training program for oncologists based on patient preferences for communication when receiving bad news: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol 2014, June 9 [Epub ahead of print]