The use of a theatre workshop in developing effective communication in paediatric end of life care

Nurse Educ Pract. 2019 Mar;36:7-12. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2019.02.014. Epub 2019 Feb 21.


Being able to communicate effectively is an essential skill for all nurses. Communication in paediatric end of life care can be challenging for both the student and lecturer as it is a rare experience and challenging to teach. Innovative approaches to teaching communication skills such as role play, simulation and drama have been used; however there is a dearth of literature examining the use of drama in this specialist context. The aim of this study was to explore the effectiveness of a novel workshop in teaching transferable knowledge and skills in palliative, end of life and bereavement care communication to a convenience sample of first year pre-registration nursing students undertaking clinical skills training at a UK university. Qualitative and quantitative data were obtained from pre and post intervention questionnaires exploring student's perception of communication skills. Qualitative data were analysed thematically and quantitative data presented as standard descriptive statistics. The novel communication workshop facilitated students' exploration of how good and poor communication looks and feels and introduced aids to inform communication in clinical practice. Exposure to different learning approaches provided opportunities to both gain confidence in engaging in new learning activities and develop knowledge and skills through purposeful engagement.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Pediatrics / standards
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Students, Nursing / psychology
  • Students, Nursing / statistics & numerical data
  • Terminal Care / methods*
  • Terminal Care / standards
  • Truth Disclosure*
  • United Kingdom