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Implementing Communications Training for OB/GYN Residents: Disclosure of Adverse Peri-operative Events

Precis: This study investigated the effect of self-evaluation on the improvement of surgical skills by comparing OSATS scores over a 4-month period to determine if the addition of a self-evaluation improved surgical skills more than instructor evaluation alone. 

Purpose: To study the implementation of communications training for OB/GYN residents on the disclosure of adverse peri-operative events

Background: Communication skills are key components of the patient-physician relationship, however, these skills are not routinely taught during OB/GYN residency or fellowship. As OB/GYNs, disclosure of serious news happens routinely in various aspects of patient care.  

Methods: OB/GYN residents at a single institution participated in a 4-hour communication didactics session using VitalTalk methodology.  Participants were surveyed at baseline, immediately following training and 3 months post-training to measure changes in comfort and confidence in the performance of communication skills. A 5 point Likert scale was used to measure comfort/confidence: Novice (1), Advanced Beginner (2), Competent (3), Proficient (4) or Expert (5).  

Results: 27 residents participated in training; 8(29.6%) interns, 7(25.9%) 2nd year, 7(25.9%) 3rd year and 5(18.5) 4th years. 11/27 (40.7%) reported prior communication training. Before training, residents reported the most competence: detecting emotion cues (median: 3.1), detecting patient/family sadness (3.0) and responding empathetically (2.8). Residents felt the least competent: assessing patient/family willingness to discuss perioperative complications (2.0), assessing how much a patient/family wants to know (2.1), confirming understanding of the adverse event (2.3). Baseline comfort and skill performing these conversations was 2.1 and 1.9, respectively. Immediately post-intervention, average comfort and skill level increased to 2.8 and 2.8, respectively. 3 month data is currently being collected.

Discussion: OB/GYN residents self-rate their communication confidence and skills at an advanced beginner level.  Implementation of participatory communication training for OB/GYN residents is feasible and improves both trainee comfort and skills in the disclosure of adverse peri-operative events. Further work is ongoing to understand retention of these skills to inform more longitudinal curricula.  

Topics: General Ob-Gyn, Standardized Patient, Simulation, GME, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Professionalism, Residency Director, Clerkship Director, Faculty, Resident, Student, 2020, SES,

General Information


Intended
Audience
Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Residency Director,
Competencies
Addressed
Professionalism,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Educational
Continuum
GME,
Educational
Focus
Simulation,Standardized Patient,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,

Author Information

Brittany Davidson MD, Esther Chung MD, Elizabeth Deans MD, Karen Jooste MD, Jonathan Fischer MD

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