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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. 1Geriatric Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  2. 2Palliative 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}health.wa.gov.au

Abstract

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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Footnotes

  • 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.