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Communication skills: simulated patient goals of care workshop for acute care clinicians
  1. David White1,
  2. Lucy Kilshaw1 and
  3. Derek Eng2
  1. 1 Geriatric Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  2. 2 Palliative Care, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr David White, Geriatric Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; david.white2{at}


Background Appropriate and timely goals of patient care (GoPC) discussions are associated with improved health outcomes near the end-of-life among patients with serious illness, however, acute care clinicians report a lack of training in conducting GoPC conversations.

Objectives A half-day GoPC communication workshop for acute care clinicians was delivered and evaluated. Participants were instructed in the use of communication frameworks and practiced skills in clinical scenarios with a simulated patient.

Method Expert facilitators guided feedback towards learner identified goals during simulated GoPC discussions. Self-reported confidence in communication skills was measured with a pre-post questionnaire, which was repeated 2 months following the workshop.

Results 50 clinicians completed the workshop and questionnaire. A mean improvement in confidence in communication skills of 35% (p<0.001) was identified following participation, which remained elevated at 2 months (p<0.001). All participants responded that they would recommend the workshop to a colleague, and more than two-thirds went on to share their learnings with other clinicians.

Conclusion The use of a simulated patient, communication frameworks and an expert facilitator were associated with durable improvement in confidence in GoPC communication among acute care clinicians. A half-day workshop was feasible and acceptable to participants.

  • Communication
  • Education and training
  • Hospital care

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  • Contributors DE, LK: planning, workshop design, manuscript revision. DW: data analysis, interpretation, development of tables and figures, manuscript development.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.