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.
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