Effects of on-site Supportive Communication Training (On-site SCT) on doctor-patient communication in oncology: Study protocol of a randomized, controlled mixed-methods trial

Antonsen Kk*, Johnsen At, Poulsen Lø, Lyhne Jd, Lund L, Eßer-Naumann S, Timm S, Jensen LH

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftProtokolpeer review


BACKGROUND: The quality of communication in oncology significantly impacts patients' health outcomes, as poor communication increases the risk of unnecessary treatment, inadequate pain relief, higher anxiety levels, and acute hospitalizations. Additionally, ineffective communication skills training (CST) is associated with stress, low job satisfaction, and burnout among doctors working in oncology. While acknowledging the importance of effective communication, the specific features of successful CST remain uncertain. Role-play and recorded consultations with direct feedback appear promising for CST but may be time-consuming and face challenges in transferring acquired skills to clinical contexts. Our aim is to bridge this gap by proposing a novel approach: On-site Supportive Communication Training (On-site SCT). The concept integrates knowledge from previous studies but represents the first randomized controlled trial employing actual doctor-patient interactions during CST.

METHODS: This randomized multicenter trial is conducted at three departments of oncology in Denmark. Doctors are randomized 1:1 to the intervention and control groups. The intervention group involves participation in three full days of On-site SCT facilitated by a trained psychologist. On-site SCT focuses on imparting communication techniques, establishing a reflective learning environment, and offering emotional support with a compassionate mindset. The primary endpoint is the change in percentage of items rated "excellent" by the patients in the validated 15-item questionnaire Communication Assessment Tool. The secondary endpoints are changes in doctors' ratings of self-efficacy in health communication, burnout, and job satisfaction measured by validated questionnaires. Qualitative interviews will be conducted with the doctors after the intervention to evaluate its relevance, feasibility, and working mechanisms. Doctors have been actively recruited during summer/autumn 2023. Baseline questionnaires from patients have been collected. Recruitment of new patients for evaluation questionnaires is scheduled for Q1-Q2 2024.

DISCUSSION: This trial aims to quantify On-site SCT efficacy. If it significantly impacts patients/doctors, it can be a scalable CST concept for clinical practice. Additionally, qualitative interviews will reveal doctors' insight into the most comprehensible curriculum parts.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: April 2023 - ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT05842083). April 2023 - The Research Ethics Committee at the University of Southern Denmark (23/19397).

TidsskriftBMC Medical Education
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 10 maj 2024

Bibliografisk note

© 2024. The Author(s).


Udforsk hvilke forskningsemner 'Effects of on-site Supportive Communication Training (On-site SCT) on doctor-patient communication in oncology: Study protocol of a randomized, controlled mixed-methods trial' indeholder.