Daria Schwalbe, Connie Timmermann, Trine A Gregersen, Sune Vork Steffensen, Jette Ammentorp

Communication, Cognition and Competency Development in Healthcare: A Model for Integrating Cognitive Ethnography and Communication Skills Training in Clinical Interventions

  • General Medicine

OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was to conduct and evaluate the Blended Learning communication skills training program. The key objective was to investigate (i) how clinical intervention studies can be designed to include cognitive, organizational, and interactive processes, and (ii) how researchers and practitioners could work with integrated methods to support the desired change. METHODS The method combined design and implementation of a 12-week Blended Learning communication skills training program based on the Calgary-Cambridge Guide. The training was implemented in a patient clinic at a Danish university hospital and targeted all healthcare professionals at the clinic. Cognitive ethnography was used to document and evaluate healthcare professionals’ implementation and individual competency development, and support the design of in-situ simulation training scenarios. RESULTS Thirteen participants completed the program. The synergy within the teams, as well as the opportunities for participants to coordinate, share, discuss, and reflect on the received knowledge with a colleague or on-site researcher, affected learning positively. The knowledge transfer process was affected by negative feedback loops, such as time shortages, issues with concept development and transfer, disjuncture between the expectations of participants and instructors of the overall course structure, as well as participant insecurity and a gradual loss of motivation and compliance. CONCLUSION We propose a novel 3-step model for clinical interventions based on our findings and literature review. This model will effectively support the implementation of educational interventions in health care by narrowing the theory-practice gap. It will also stimulate desired change in individual behavior and organizational culture over time. Furthermore, it will work for the benefit of the clinic and may be more suitable for the implementation of communication projects than, for example, randomized setups.

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