Responding empathically to patients: Development, implementation, and evaluation of a communication skills training module for oncology nurses Journal Article


Authors: Pehrson, C.; Banerjee, S. C.; Manna, R.; Shen, M. J.; Hammonds, S.; Coyle, N.; Krueger, C. A.; Maloney, E.; Zaider, T.; Bylund, C. L.
Article Title: Responding empathically to patients: Development, implementation, and evaluation of a communication skills training module for oncology nurses
Abstract: Objective: The purpose of this paper is to report on the development, implementation, and evaluation of a Communication Skills Training (CST) module for inpatient oncology nurses on how to respond empathically to patients. Methods: 248 nurses from a USA cancer center participated in a CST module on responding empathically to patients. Nurses completed pre- and post-training Standardized Patient Assessments (SPAs), a survey on their confidence in and intent to utilize skills taught, and a six-month post-training survey of self-reported use of skills. Results: Results indicate that nurses were satisfied with the module, reporting that agreement or strong agreement to 5 out of 6 items assessing satisfaction 96.7%-98.0% of the time. Nurses' self-efficacy in responding empathically significantly increased pre- to post-training. Additionally, nurses showed empathy skill improvement in the post-SPAs. Finally, 88.2% of nurses reported feeling confident in using the skills they learned post-training and reported an increase of 42-63% in the use of specific empathic skills. Conclusions: A CST module for nurses in responding empathically to patients showed feasibility, acceptability, and improvement in self-efficacy as well as skill uptake. Practice implications: This CST module provides an easily targeted intervention for improving nurse-patient communication and patient-centered care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).
Keywords: empathy; communication skills training; healthcare communication; nurse-patient communication
Journal Title: Patient Education and Counseling
Volume: 99
Issue: 4
ISSN: 0738-3991
Publisher: Elsevier Ireland Ltd.  
Date Published: 2016-04-01
Start Page: 610
End Page: 616
Language: English
ACCESSION: Peer Reviewed Journal: 2015-56303-001
DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2015.11.021
PROVIDER: Ovid Technologies
PROVIDER: psycinfo
PMCID: PMC4962546
PUBMED: 26686992
DOI/URL:
Notes: References -- Source: PsycINFO
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MSK Authors
  1. Nessa M Coyle
    89 Coyle
  2. Talia I Zaider
    45 Zaider
  3. Ruth Danielle Jozef Manna
    20 Manna
  4. Stacey Penn
    7 Penn
  5. Megan Johnson Shen
    23 Shen