Education

Effect of Communication Skills Training for Residents and Nurse Practitioners on Quality of Communication With Patients With Serious Illness: A Randomized Trial

Importance: Communication about end-of-life care is a core clinical skill. Simulation-based training improves skill acquisition, but effects on patient-reported outcomes are unknown.

Objective: To assess the effects of a communication skills intervention for internal medicine and nurse practitioner trainees on patient- and family-reported outcomes.

Conclusions and Relevance:  Among internal medicine and nurse practitioner trainees, simulation-based communication training compared with usual education did not improve quality of communication about end-of-life care or quality of end-of-life care but was associated with a small increase in patients’ depressive symptoms. These findings raise questions about skills transfer from simulation training to actual patient care and the adequacy of communication skills assessment.

Link to full journal article: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1787407

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