Doctors Using Patient Feedback to Establish Professional Learning Goals: Results from a Communication Skill Development Program

Doctors Using Patient Feedback to Establish Professional Learning Goals: Results from a Communication Skill Development Program

L. Baker (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand), M. J. Greco (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand) and A. Narayanan (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch522

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Background

Training modules in communication and interpersonal skill building are now prevalent in medical education programmes. Such modules typically involve senior colleagues observing student doctor interaction with standard patients and providing feedback to help student doctors improve their interviewing techniques (e.g. Roth et al, 2002). Performance-based training can also be used involving evaluation of clinical performance.

Patient feedback (outcomes-based research using patient questionnaires) has received little attention as a potentially effective educational tool in the training of medical practitioners. Research shows that discussing one's results of patient feedback with a more experienced colleague has a significantly positive impact on future performance (Cope et al, 1986; Blurton and Mazzaferri, 1985; Greco et al, 2001). Whilst there is some evidence that the use of patient feedback can stimulate change for doctors-in-training, there is little evidence that the same can be said of fully qualified and practising doctors as opposed to doctors going through medical education (Greco et al, 1998).

With regard to outcomes-based research, a number of tools have been developed to measure patient experience of interaction with doctors. For instance, Trumble et al (2006) used 10 questions modelled on the ‘Art of Medicine Survey’ (Webster, 1989):

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