Is simulation an effective way to teach communication in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine?
CPS ePoster Library. Godin K. 06/25/15; 99130; 67
Dr. Kristen Godin
Dr. Kristen Godin
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Abstract
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Background
Effective communication between neonatologists and families is essential to family-centered care. Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (NPM) training, however, focuses on knowledge acquisition, rather than communication skill development. Presently, there is no standardised approach to communication skills training in Canada.

Objective
The purpose of this project was to develop, implement and evaluate a simulation based communication skills workshop.

Methods
A questionnaire to assess current communication teaching methodology and trainee confidence was sent to NPM program directors and trainees across Canada. A workshop that included both didactic teaching and simulated parent encounters was then developed based on deficits identified in the needs assessment. Trainee communication skills were assessed in pre and post workshop scenarios using qualitative (Calgary-Cambridge - CC) and quantitative (Global Rating Scale - GRS) assessment tools. One month later, trainees participated in another simulated encounter to evaluate retention. Trainees completed questionnaires pre and post workshop, as well as one month post workshop to assess perceived confidence, communication skills and workshop satisfaction.

Results
Two thirds of training programs do not offer formal communication skills training. Eight trainees completed the workshop; four of these completed the retention assessment. Five trainees improved on both the GRS and CC with mean scores (sd) increasing from 29.6(±1.8) to 33(±2.4) out of 45 and 83.1(±2.6) to 89.9(±3.0) out of 100, respectively. At the one month post assessment, 3 trainees were equivalent to, or improved from, their post workshop assessment with scores of 35.3(± 1) and 95.2(±1.7). In pre vs. post workshop surveys, there were trends towards increasing confidence in discussing palliative care (33.3% vs. 77.8%), conflicts of opinion (44.4% vs. 66.7%) and religious or spiritual beliefs (33.3% vs. 66.7%). Seven of eight trainees “agreed” or “strongly agreed’ that the workshop met their expectations and all “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the workshop improved their communication skills.

Conclusions
The implementation of a simulation based communication skills workshop resulted in improved confidence amongst trainees and improved qualitative and quantitative assessments in almost two-thirds of cases. Similar workshops should be implemented to enhance communication skills teaching across Canadian NPM programs.
Background
Effective communication between neonatologists and families is essential to family-centered care. Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (NPM) training, however, focuses on knowledge acquisition, rather than communication skill development. Presently, there is no standardised approach to communication skills training in Canada.

Objective
The purpose of this project was to develop, implement and evaluate a simulation based communication skills workshop.

Methods
A questionnaire to assess current communication teaching methodology and trainee confidence was sent to NPM program directors and trainees across Canada. A workshop that included both didactic teaching and simulated parent encounters was then developed based on deficits identified in the needs assessment. Trainee communication skills were assessed in pre and post workshop scenarios using qualitative (Calgary-Cambridge - CC) and quantitative (Global Rating Scale - GRS) assessment tools. One month later, trainees participated in another simulated encounter to evaluate retention. Trainees completed questionnaires pre and post workshop, as well as one month post workshop to assess perceived confidence, communication skills and workshop satisfaction.

Results
Two thirds of training programs do not offer formal communication skills training. Eight trainees completed the workshop; four of these completed the retention assessment. Five trainees improved on both the GRS and CC with mean scores (sd) increasing from 29.6(±1.8) to 33(±2.4) out of 45 and 83.1(±2.6) to 89.9(±3.0) out of 100, respectively. At the one month post assessment, 3 trainees were equivalent to, or improved from, their post workshop assessment with scores of 35.3(± 1) and 95.2(±1.7). In pre vs. post workshop surveys, there were trends towards increasing confidence in discussing palliative care (33.3% vs. 77.8%), conflicts of opinion (44.4% vs. 66.7%) and religious or spiritual beliefs (33.3% vs. 66.7%). Seven of eight trainees “agreed” or “strongly agreed’ that the workshop met their expectations and all “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the workshop improved their communication skills.

Conclusions
The implementation of a simulation based communication skills workshop resulted in improved confidence amongst trainees and improved qualitative and quantitative assessments in almost two-thirds of cases. Similar workshops should be implemented to enhance communication skills teaching across Canadian NPM programs.
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