Outcome of parent-physician communication skills training for pediatric residents

Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Jan;82(1):94-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.12.013. Epub 2010 Feb 9.


Objective: communication skills represent an essential component of clinical competence. In the field of pediatrics, communication between physicians and patients' parents is characterized by particular difficulties. To investigate the effects of a parent-physician communication skills training program on OSCE performance and self-efficacy in a group control design.

Methods: parallel to their daily work in the outpatient department, intervention-group experienced clinicians in practice (n=14) participated in a communication training with standardized parents. Control-group physicians (n=14) did not receive any training beyond their daily work. Performance was assessed by independent video ratings of an OSCE. Both groups rated their self-efficacy prior to and following training.

Results: regarding OSCE performance, the intervention group demonstrated superior skills in building relationships with parents (p<.024) and tended to perform better in exploring parents' problems (p<.081). The communication training program led to significant improvement in self-efficacy with respect to the specific training objectives in the intervention group (p<.046).

Conclusion: even in physicians with considerable experience, structured communication training with standardized parents leads to significant improvement in OSCE performance and self-efficacy. PRACTISE IMPLICATIONS: briefness and tight structure make the presented communication training program applicable even for experienced physicians in daily clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Communication*
  • Curriculum
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Program Development
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires