Context: Despite growing interest in medical communication by certification bodies, significant methodological and logistic challenges are evident in experiential methods of instruction.
Objective: There were three study objectives: 1) to explore the acceptability of an innovative video feedback programme to residents and faculty; 2) to evaluate a brief teaching intervention comprising the video feedback innovation when linked to a one-hour didactic and role-play teaching session on paediatric residents' communication with a simulated patient; and 3) to explore the impact of resident gender on communication change.
Design: Pre/post comparison of residents' performance in videotaped interviews with simulated patients before and after the teaching intervention. Individually tailored feedback on targeted communication skills was facilitated by embedding the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) within a software platform that presents a fully coded interview with instant search and review features.
Setting/participants: 28 first year residents in a large, urban, paediatric residency programme.
Results: Communication changes following the teaching intervention were demonstrated through significant improvements in residents' performance with simulated patients pre and post teaching and feedback. Using paired t-tests, differences include: reduced verbal dominance; increased use of open-ended questions; increased use of empathy; and increased partnership building and problem solving for therapeutic regimen adherence. Female residents demonstrated greater communication change than males.
Conclusions: The RIAS embedded CD-ROM provides a flexible structure for individually tailoring feedback of targeted communication skills that is effective in facilitating communication change as part of a very brief teaching intervention.