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ISSN: 2161-0711

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
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Research Article

Efficacy of a Communication Skill Training Fostering Health Promotion in Primary Care: A Mixed Method Analysis

Stefan N1,2,3*, Ueli G2 and Margareta S3

1Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, Switzerland

2Swiss College of Primary Care Medicine, Bern, Switzerland

3Institute of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention, University of Zurich, Switzerland

*Corresponding Author:
Neuner-Jehle Stefan
MD, MPH, Institute of Primary Care
Pestalozzistrasse 24, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel: +41 44 255 98 55
Fax: +41 44 255 90 97
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: Feb 13, 2016; Accepted date: Mar 28, 2016; Published date: April 20, 2016

Citation: Stefan N, Ueli G, Margareta S (2016) Efficacy of a Communication Skill Training Fostering Health Promotion in Primary Care: A Mixed Method Analysis. J Community Med Health 6:413. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000413

Copyright: © 2016 Stefan N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Background: Health related behavior is an important determinant of chronic disease, with a high impact on public health. Thus, motivating and assisting people to change their unfavorable health behavior is a major challenge for health professionals. Patients increasingly seek more active participation in healthcare decisions. Thus, communication skills of general practitioners (GPs) are crucial for a successful health promotive counseling, and there is a need of sound competences in communication techniques among them.

Methods: We developed a training program using case vignettes and standardized patients (SPs) and evaluated its effectiveness among GPs and their patients at different levels using a validated evaluation model. Levels refer to a. acceptance and satisfaction; b. adoption of knowledge and skills; c. behavior change in regard to communication competence; d. impact on daily work with results in the targeted aim. Results: Participants' ratings in all levels were positive, between 3.9 and 5.0 on a 5- point Likert scale. Self-rated communication knowledge and skills improved significantly with ratings of 3.4 to 3.7 before and 4.2 to 4.5 after the training course (p < 0.01). Only the integration of the new role into daily work was not, or not yet, changed by the training, but the perceived communication competence and working quality of participating GPs improved.

Conclusion: Communication skills and competence, as well as patient-centeredness and empathy, are crucial for GPs for helping patients to change and sustain their health behavior. Within communication skill trainings for GPs fostering health promotive counseling, the SP method is a promising format of medical education at pre- and postgraduate level, with a potentially high impact on public health.

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