Training faculty to facilitate communication skills training: development and evaluation of a workshop

Carma L Bylund, Richard F Brown, Barbara Lubrano di Ciccone, Tomer T Levin, Jennifer A Gueguen, Catherine Hill, David W Kissane
Patient Education and Counseling 2008, 70 (3): 430-6

OBJECTIVE: To develop a workshop for training faculty to facilitate small group role play sessions for a communication skills training program and assess the impact of that workshop on the trainees' self-efficacy about facilitation skills.

METHODS: A multi-specialty group of 33 attending physicians at a Comprehensive Cancer Center were trained in a Facilitating Communication Skills Training workshop in order to prepare them to facilitate small group role play with fellows and residents. The workshop curriculum was based on theory and literature on teaching communication skills.

RESULTS: The workshop had a significant effect on participants' self-efficacy in facilitating communication skills training. At least 75% of participants reported feeling comfortable facilitating communication skills training small groups.

CONCLUSION: This facilitation workshop was successful in providing participants with confidence to successfully facilitate small group role play sessions in communication skills training.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: In order to evaluate the effectiveness of communication skills training programs, it is important to have trained facilitators who adhere to a set of facilitation guidelines. Workshops on facilitation skills provide the background and practice time necessary as a first step in the training process.

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