Effectiveness of a short course in clinical communication skills for hospital doctors: Results of a crossover randomized controlled trial (ISRCTN22153332)

Bård Fossli Jensen, Pål Gulbrandsen, Fredrik A. Dahl, Edward Krupat, Richard Frankel, Arnstein Finset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To test the hypothesis that a 20-h communication skills course based on the Four Habits model can improve doctor-patient communication among hospital employed doctors across specialties. Methods: Crossover randomized controlled trial in a 500-bed hospital with interventions at different time points in the two arms. Assessments were video-based and blinded. Intervention consisted of 20. h of communication training, containing alternating plenary with theory/debriefs and practical group sessions with role-plays tailored to each doctor. Results: Of 103 doctors asked to participate, 72 were included, 62 received the intervention, 51 were included in the main analysis, and another six were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. We found an increase in the Four Habits Coding Scheme of 7.5 points (p = 0.01, 95% confidence interval 1.6-13.3), fairly evenly distributed on subgroups. Baseline score (SD) was 60.3 (9.9). Global patient satisfaction did not change, neither did average encounter duration. Conclusion: Utilizing an outpatient-clinic training model developed in the US, we demonstrated that a 20-h course could be generalized across medical and national cultures, indicating improvement of communication skills among hospital doctors. Practice implications: The Four Habits model is suitable for communication-training courses in hospital settings. Doctors across specialties can attend the same course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume84
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Fingerprint

Clinical Competence
Randomized Controlled Trials
Communication
Habits
Intention to Treat Analysis
Ambulatory Care Facilities
Patient Satisfaction
Confidence Intervals

Keywords

  • Communication training
  • Crossover
  • Doctor-patient relationship
  • RCT
  • Video assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Effectiveness of a short course in clinical communication skills for hospital doctors : Results of a crossover randomized controlled trial (ISRCTN22153332). / Fossli Jensen, Bård; Gulbrandsen, Pål; Dahl, Fredrik A.; Krupat, Edward; Frankel, Richard; Finset, Arnstein.

In: Patient Education and Counseling, Vol. 84, No. 2, 08.2011, p. 163-169.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fossli Jensen, Bård ; Gulbrandsen, Pål ; Dahl, Fredrik A. ; Krupat, Edward ; Frankel, Richard ; Finset, Arnstein. / Effectiveness of a short course in clinical communication skills for hospital doctors : Results of a crossover randomized controlled trial (ISRCTN22153332). In: Patient Education and Counseling. 2011 ; Vol. 84, No. 2. pp. 163-169.
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