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Communication training for health professionals who care for patients with cancer: a systematic review of effectiveness

Communication training for health professionals who care for patients with cancer: a systematic review of effectiveness
Communication training for health professionals who care for patients with cancer: a systematic review of effectiveness
Background: effective communication is increasingly recognised as a core clinical skill. However, there is evidence that health and social care professionals still lack basic communication skills.
Purpose: to assess the effectiveness of different communication skills training courses for health professionals in cancer care.
Methods: we searched six computerised databases and augmented this with a follow-up of references and grey (unpublished) literature. We included all studies evaluating communication training and assessed methodological quality according to the standard grading system of the Clinical Outcomes Group. Data on author, year, setting, objectives, study design and results were extracted and compared in tabular format.
Results: a total of 47 studies potentially assessing communication training in the area of cancer care were identified. Sixteen papers were included describing 13 interventions. Four were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) (grade I), with samples ranging from 72 to 233 subjects. The others were all grade III. Eleven interventions trained health professionals, two trained medical students. The outcomes measured included communication skills as assessed on audio or video, professionalsrsquo self-report and patient assessment. All the interventions demonstrated modest improvements (effect sizes ranged 0.15–2) and one found deterioration in the outcomes measured.
Conclusion: communication training improves basic communication skills. Positive attitudes and beliefs are needed to maintain skills over time in clinical practice and to effectively handle emotional situations
communication training, health professionals, cancer care, systematic review, effectiveness
0941-4355
692-700
Gysels, Marjolein
54b0973c-096d-422a-94d3-5103431b8b5f
Richardson, Alison
3db30680-aa47-43a5-b54d-62d10ece17b7
Higginson, Irene J.
8bff8e06-57f3-491b-ab81-2ecf983f52f3
Gysels, Marjolein
54b0973c-096d-422a-94d3-5103431b8b5f
Richardson, Alison
3db30680-aa47-43a5-b54d-62d10ece17b7
Higginson, Irene J.
8bff8e06-57f3-491b-ab81-2ecf983f52f3

Gysels, Marjolein, Richardson, Alison and Higginson, Irene J. (2004) Communication training for health professionals who care for patients with cancer: a systematic review of effectiveness. Supportive Care in Cancer, 12 (10), 692-700. (doi:10.1007/s00520-004-0666-6).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: effective communication is increasingly recognised as a core clinical skill. However, there is evidence that health and social care professionals still lack basic communication skills.
Purpose: to assess the effectiveness of different communication skills training courses for health professionals in cancer care.
Methods: we searched six computerised databases and augmented this with a follow-up of references and grey (unpublished) literature. We included all studies evaluating communication training and assessed methodological quality according to the standard grading system of the Clinical Outcomes Group. Data on author, year, setting, objectives, study design and results were extracted and compared in tabular format.
Results: a total of 47 studies potentially assessing communication training in the area of cancer care were identified. Sixteen papers were included describing 13 interventions. Four were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) (grade I), with samples ranging from 72 to 233 subjects. The others were all grade III. Eleven interventions trained health professionals, two trained medical students. The outcomes measured included communication skills as assessed on audio or video, professionalsrsquo self-report and patient assessment. All the interventions demonstrated modest improvements (effect sizes ranged 0.15–2) and one found deterioration in the outcomes measured.
Conclusion: communication training improves basic communication skills. Positive attitudes and beliefs are needed to maintain skills over time in clinical practice and to effectively handle emotional situations

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More information

Published date: October 2004
Keywords: communication training, health professionals, cancer care, systematic review, effectiveness

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 69105
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/69105
ISSN: 0941-4355
PURE UUID: 0736a694-eed4-4a84-938d-5bcad19d708f
ORCID for Alison Richardson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3127-5755

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Nov 2009
Last modified: 26 Nov 2019 01:41

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Contributors

Author: Marjolein Gysels
Author: Irene J. Higginson

University divisions

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