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The purposes of this study were to develop a communication skills training (CST) workshop program based on patient preferences, and to evaluate preliminary feasibility of the CST program on the objective performances of physicians and the subjective ratings of their confidence about the communication with patients at the pre- and post-CST.
The CST program was developed, based on the previous surveys on patient preferences (setting up the supporting environment of the interview, making consideration for how to deliver bad news, discussing about additional information, and provision of reassurance and emotional support) and addressing the patient's emotion with empathic responses, and stressing the oncologists' emotional support. The program was participants' centered approach, consisted a didactic lecture, role plays with simulated patients, discussions and an ice-breaking; a total of 2-days. To evaluate feasibility of the newly developed CST program, oncologists who participated it were assessed their communication performances (behaviors and utterances) during simulated consultation at the pre- and post-CST. Participants also rated their confidence communicating with patients at the pre-, post-, and 3-months after CST, burnout at pre and 3 months after CST, and the helpfulness of the program at post-CST.
Sixteen oncologists attended a newly developed CST. A comparison of pre-post measures showed improvement of oncologists' communication performances, especially skills of emotional support and consideration for how to deliver information. Their confidence in communicating bad news was rated higher score at post-CST than at pre-CST and was persisted at 3-months after the CST. Emotional exhaustion scores decreased at 3-months after CST. In addition, oncologists rated high satisfaction with all components of the program.
Significance of results:
This pilot study suggests that the newly developed CST program based on patient preferences seemed feasible and potentially effective on improving oncologists' communication behaviors what patients prefer and confidence in communicating with patients.
This study investigates the usefulness of the Structured Interview for Competency and Incompetency Assessment Testing and Ranking Inventory (SICIATRI) for cancer patients, which is a structured interview that assesses a patient's competency in clinical practice.
The SICIATRI, originally developed to measure patients' competency to give informed consent, were administered referred cancer patients who needed for assessing medical decision making capacity. The usefulness of the SICIATRI was investigated retrospectively. Recommendation for modification of the SICIATRI for cancer patients if applicable were made by the research team.
Among the 433 cancer patients referred for psychiatric consultation, 12 were administered the SICIATRI and all of the administration were conducted without big problems. All patients were 60 years or older. The most common purpose for competency evaluation was to analyze patients' understanding of the anti-cancer treatment proposed by oncologists, followed by their refusal of the treatment. Half of the patients (n = 6) were diagnosed with delirium and three among them were judged as having the most impaired status of a patient's competency. Two patients (17%) were diagnosed with major depression and another two (17%) were mental retardation and each one patient was diagnosed with dementia and past history of alcohol dependence. Among 6 patients without delirium 5 subjects including a dementia patient were judged as fully competent. Total of 5 small potential modifications of the SICIATRI for its use with Japanese cancer patients were recommended.
Significance of results:
Our experience suggests that the SICIATRI is a useful instrument for psycho-oncology clinical practice.
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