Evidence based management of acute bronchitis; sustained competence of enhanced communication skills acquisition in general practice

Patient Educ Couns. 2007 Nov;68(3):270-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2007.06.014. Epub 2007 Aug 21.


Objective: To determine if a communication skills training program for general practitioners involving context-rich learning experiences and 'peer review' of consultation transcripts results in communication skills acquisition and maintenance, while preserving time-efficiency in consultations.

Methods: A pre-test-post-test evaluation of training 20 general practitioners (GPs) in enhanced communication skills. Audio taped consultations with simulated patients in routine practice conducted before, within 2 weeks and again 6 months after communication skills training were analysed and consultation length measured. Transcripts were scored for specific skills to determine differences in short and longer-term competence of GPs for the communication skills.

Results: There was good evidence that GPs acquired key communication skills after training and that these were maintained over 6 months. Consultations remained within normal consultation length in primary care.

Conclusion: Specific communication skills for acute bronchitis can be successfully acquired by GPs through context-rich communication training with peer review of transcripts with simulated patients, without making consultation length unfeasible.

Practice implications: This approach to skill acquisition is useful for enhancing communication skills competence in general medical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Bronchitis / therapy*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Educational Measurement
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric