A longitudinal evaluation of a communication skills programme

Wilkinson, S.; Bailey, K.; Aldridge, J.; Roberts, A.
July 1999
Palliative Medicine;1999, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p341
Academic Journal
Communication is an essential component of palliative care, but patients and their families are often dissatisfied with their interactions with health professionals. Communication difficulties are also a recognized stress factor among health professionals. Education and training, however, are said to improve communication skills. A communication skills training programme for 110 nurses has demonstrated statistically significant improvements in the nurses' skills, but no long-term effect was evaluated. This paper presents the results of the long-term follow-up study. Of the 110 nurses contacted, 20% refused to participate, 45% agreed and 35% did not respond; 33 nurses returned usable data. The mean length of time since completing the original study was 2.5 years. Since completion of the original course there was no statistically significant deterioration or improvement in eight of the nine areas of assessment skills evaluated. In the area of psychological assessment there was a statistically significant improvement, and overall the nurses maintained their skills and improved in this area. The results suggest that over time the nurses became more confident in the emotional areas of care as a result of the training. The two key elements of the training were audio-tape recordings and feedback, which raised self-awareness, and experiential workshops covering ways of handling difficult situations. Whether a similar training effect could be achieved by a short 35-day course on communication skills needs addressing, because the integrated training skills course evaluated here is costly. Preliminary evidence suggests that the 35-day course may not be as effective, so the increased costs associated with the integrated training skills course may be wisely spent if it improves the quality of nursepatient interaction as evidence here suggests.


Related Articles

  • What Should Oncology Nurses Know When Caring for Veterans?  // ONS Connect;Nov2011, Vol. 26 Issue 11, p13 

    The article offers a nurse's perspective on how oncology nurses should care for the U.S. veterans and what they should know about them. She states that many healthcare providers working outside the Veterans Health Administration (VA) system are unaware that one of every four hospice patients is...

  • Effective communication in palliative care. Dunne, Kathleen // Nursing Standard;12/7/2005, Vol. 20 Issue 13, p57 

    This article focuses on the definitions of communication and an examination of their relationship to palliative care nursing. The underpinning theory is analysed as a means of understanding the communication process. The communication process in nursing is considered in the context of...

  • Mum's gone travelling. Smith, Jackie // Nursing Standard;4/12/2006, Vol. 20 Issue 31, p32 

    The article discusses the author's experience during her employment at a nursing home in Auckland, New Zealand. She noted that it was a challenging and interesting experience to work with a team of care-givers from different countries. She was able to learn the different ways of delivering...

  • Achieving quality in life and death. Davis, Jodie // Australian Nursing Journal;Mar2010, Vol. 17 Issue 8, p20 

    The article discusses the importance of helping people achieve quality of life through palliative care during the end stages of an illness. The author notes that quality of life is subjective in nature and as a result, palliative care should be individualized based on patient needs and...

  • Time expenditure in patient-related care provided by specialist palliative care nurses in a community hospice service. Weber, Martin; Grohmann, Lieselotte // Palliative Medicine;Dec2004, Vol. 18 Issue 8, p719 

    Although the importance of specialist palliative care in home care programmes for terminally ill patients is well known, German community hospice services did not begin to employ nurses who had specialized in palliative care until the early 1990s. The general tasks of these nurses are...

  • Bedside diaries. Flude, Jeanette // Nursing Management - UK;Sep2010, Vol. 17 Issue 5, p8 

    A letter to the editor is presented about the benefits of bedside patient diaries to the communication between stroke patients, carers, relatives and staff.

  • All patients deserve our respect. Kinnair, Donna // Nursing Management - UK;Jul2011, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p3 

    The author reflects on the incident exposed by the BBC Panorama team wherein the Castlebeck staff, at its Winterbourne View site, Bristol, England, abused vulnerable adults violently. She notes that the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) guidance on whistleblowing is insufficient to deal with...

  • Take up the Care Challenge. Kinnair, Donna // Nursing Management - UK;Dec2011, Vol. 18 Issue 8, p3 

    No abstract available.

  • The Care Challenge. Lipley, Nick // Nursing Management - UK;Dec2011, Vol. 18 Issue 8, p4 

    No abstract available.

  • Announcements.  // Journal of Palliative Medicine;Apr2002, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p337 

    Presents several announcements related to palliative medicine in the U.S.


Read the Article

Courtesy of

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics