Effective training strategies for teaching communication skills to physicians: An overview of systematic reviews

by Marianne Berkhof, H. Jolanda van Rijssen, Antonius J M Schellart, Johannes R. Anema, Allard J. van der Beek
Patient Education and Counseling ()


Objective: Physicians need good communication skills to communicate effectively with patients. The objective of this review was to identify effective training strategies for teaching communication skills to qualified physicians. Methods: PubMED, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and COCHRANE were searched in October 2008 and in March 2009. Two authors independently selected relevant reviews and assessed their methodological quality with AMSTAR. Summary tables were constructed for data-synthesis, and results were linked to outcome measures. As a result, conclusions about the effectiveness of communication skills training strategies for physicians could be drawn. Results: Twelve systematic reviews on communication skills training programmes for physicians were identified. Some focused on specific training strategies, whereas others emphasized a more general approach with mixed strategies. Training programmes were effective if they lasted for at least one day, were learner-centred, and focused on practising skills. The best training strategies within the programmes included role-play, feedback, and small group discussions. Conclusion: Training programmes should include active, practice-oriented strategies. Oral presentations on communication skills, modelling, and written information should only be used as supportive strategies. Practice implications: To be able to compare the effectiveness of training programmes more easily in the future, general agreement on outcome measures has to be established. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Cite this document (BETA)

Readership Statistics

113 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
by Academic Status
15% Student (Master)
13% Other Professional
11% Ph.D. Student
by Country
7% United States
4% Canada
3% United Kingdom

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in