Last updated: 15 August 2022
Liao F, Murphy D, Wu JC, Chen CY, Chang CC, Tsai PF. How technology-enhanced experiential e-learning can facilitate the development of person-centred communication skills online for health-care students: a qualitative study. BMC Med Educ. 2022;22(1):60.
Keywords: COVID-19; Communication skills; E-learning; Medical education; Online learning; Person-centred approach; Qualitative study
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic brought a new challenge to medical education-health-care students had fewer opportunities to interact with and treat real patients in clinical settings. Interpersonal communication skills are often developed through human interaction and communication in person, and few studies have proposed feasible digital solutions to develop learners' communication skills. Consequently, understanding how medical teachers facilitate and implement online training programmes, with feasible instruments, to enhance students' learning effectiveness when in-person training is not possible is critical.
Methods: By using a convenience sampling method, we recruited 26 health-care students from seven medical schools in Taiwan. Through semistructured interviews and the thematic analysis technique, we analysed the latent learning factors from the experience of implementing the technology-enhanced experiential e-learning tool 'mPath'.
Results: Three themes were generated: A) transferring theory into practice, B) increasing authenticity with analytical features, and C) maintaining autonomy with nondirective learning. The features accessibility, flexibility, intractability, and visualisation with the characteristics of remote accessibility and flexibility, repetition and retrospect, feedback requesting, and visualised analytical reports were considered to enhance learning outcomes.
Conclusion: This study indicated how online training using technology could develop the participants' person-centred communication skills and what features influenced the learning outcomes of social distancing. mPath may be a feasible online learning approach and has provided inspiration for developing health-care students' communication skills when in-person training is not possible.
Sussex RD. 'Opioid', opioids, pain, language and communication [epub ahead of print, 2022 Mar 2]. Anaesth Intensive Care.
Keywords: Opioid; addiction; communication; epidemic; language; pain
Over the last decades public discussion of opioids has changed radically. Opioid was once a word largely restricted to professional medical and pharmacological use for the treatment and management of pain. But propelled by the rapidly growing international wave of opioid use and overuse, it is now part of a much wider public discussion that covers more than pain medicine: dependency, addiction, over-prescription and oversupply, recreational drug use, and criminal drug trafficking. The word opioid is now controversial and value-laden. A key component of the developing views and values about opioids is carried by language, both written and spoken: on radio and television, in the social media, but also between healthcare professionals and patients, where communicating about pain in a context of emotionally and value-charged images of opioids can be challenging. This paper analyses aspects of the language of opioids. We document the shift from medical to addiction meanings and uses in the key term opioid, together with narcotic, drug, heroin, and to a lesser degree opiate and morphine. These changes follow four chronological phases in attitudes to pain and its treatment: traditional medical approaches to pain; pain being recognised as an under-treated 'fifth vital sign'; the pharmacological and medical promotion of opioid use for treating pain, especially chronic pain; and the current reaction where opioid has become a pejorative and emotive term, closely connected to words like epidemic and addiction. We investigate whether and how a less charged and more balanced discourse might be possible.
Bathia NS, McAskill RE, Hancox JE, Knaggs RD. Collaboration between adult patients and practitioners when making decisions about prescribing opioid medicines for chronic non-cancer pain in primary care: a scoping review. Br J Pain. 2022;16(1):119-126.
Keywords: Chronic pain; interaction; opioid; patient; relationship
Background: Long-term opioid therapy (>12 months) is not effective for improving chronic non-cancer pain and function. Where patients are not experiencing pain relief with long-term opioids, the opioid should be tapered and discontinuation considered. Practitioners may find it challenging to tell patients experiencing pain that they are better off reducing or not taking medicines that do not help. This review aims to ascertain what is published about: (1) the interaction and (2) the nature of the relationship between practitioners and patients when prescribing opioids for chronic non-cancer pain in primary care.
Method: A scoping review of English-language qualitative, quantitative or mixed-method studies in databases including: MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, AMED, BNI, CINALH EMCARE and HMIC. The identified papers were reviewed to provide a descriptive summary of the literature.
Results: The review identified 20 studies. The studies used a range of methods including interviews, focus groups, audio and video recordings of clinical consultations, telephone survey and data from patient records. One study reported that researchers had engaged with a patient advisory group to guide their research. Patients expressed the importance of being treated as individuals, not being judged and being involved in prescribing decisions. Practitioners expressed difficulty in managing patient expectations and establishing trust. Opioid risk and practitioner suspicion shape opioid prescribing decisions. There is a paucity of literature about how precisely practitioners overcome interactional challenges and implement personalised care in practice.
Conclusion: The studies in this review ascertain that practitioners and patients often find it challenging to achieve shared decisions in opioid review consultations. Effective communication is essential to achieve good clinical practice. Collaborative research with PPI partners should be aimed at identifying communication practices that support practitioners to achieve shared decisions with patients when reviewing opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.
Bertrand B, Evain JN, Piot J, et al. Positive communication behaviour during handover and team-based clinical performance in critical situations: a simulation randomised controlled trial. Br J Anaesth. 2021;126(4):854-861.
Keywords: clinical performance; communication behaviour; high-fidelity simulation; positive communication; stress response; teamwork.
Background: Positive communication behaviour within anaesthesia teams may decrease stress response and improve clinical performance. We aimed to evaluate the effect of positive communication during medical handover on the subsequent team-based clinical performance in a simulated critical situation. We also assessed the effect of positive communication behaviour on stress response.
Methods: This single-centre RCT involved anaesthesia teams composed of a resident and a nurse in a high-fidelity scenario of anaesthesia-related paediatric laryngospasm after a standardised handover. During the handover, similar information was provided to all teams, but positive communication behaviour was adopted only for teams in the intervention group. Primary outcome was team-based clinical performance, assessed by an independent blinded observer, using video recordings and a 0-to 100-point scenario-specific scoring tool. Three categories of tasks were considered: safety checks before the incision, diagnosis/treatment of laryngospasm, and crisis resource management/non-technical skills. Individual stress response was monitored by perceived level of stress and HR variability.
Results: The clinical performance of 64 anaesthesia professionals (grouped into 32 teams) was analysed. The mean (standard deviation) team-based performance score in the intervention group was 44 (10) points vs 35 (12) in the control group (difference: +8.4; CI95% [0.4-16.4]; P=0.04). The effects were homogeneous over the three categories of tasks. Perceived level of stress and HR variability were not significantly different between groups.
Conclusions: Positive communication behaviour between healthcare professionals during medical handover improved team-based performance in a simulation-based critical situation.
Garba DL, Asher AM, Loewenstein J, Quinsey C. Does communication between neurosurgeons and anesthesiologists improve preoperative efficiency?. Clin Neurol Neurosurg.
Keywords: Communication; Craniotomy; Efficiency; Surgical checklist; Timeout
Background: Suboptimal communication can lead to preventable preoperative delays. In our study, we aimed to identify factors delaying surgery in the immediate preoperative period. Our outcomes of interest were the anesthesia release to incision time (RIT) and preoperative expectations of neurosurgery and anesthesia providers. Additionally, we introduced new communication goals prior to induction, to examine the impact on preoperative efficiency.
Methods: The study is a prospective cohort analysis evaluating communication in the immediate preoperative period. In 42 consecutive cranial neurosurgical cases, a questionnaire was given to neurosurgical and anesthesia providers, and their responses were recorded. Halfway through this study, a formal pre-induction checklist was implemented that included expected duration of surgery, expected blood loss, surgical positioning, and intraoperative medication requirements.
Results: Comparing the cohorts before and after implementing the checklist, no difference in release to incision time was observed. However, the difference in estimated procedure time was significantly decreased after implementation of the formal pre-induction checklist. Further, there was a trend towards better agreement in estimated blood loss, although results did not achieve statistical significance. These delays all demonstrated a statistically significant decrease after the new communication goals were executed.
Conclusion: While no statistically significant change in release to incision time was uncovered during our study, there was evidence that communication between teams improved after implementation of the checklist. Additionally, we observed less discrepancy in estimated case length and blood loss, suggesting focused communication goals aligned expectations of the neurosurgical and anesthesia teams.
Singh V, Nasser A. Challenges during anaesthetic management of a 38-year-old deaf and mute patient under general anaesthesia. Med J Armed Forces India. 2021;77(1):105-107.
Keywords: Anaesthesia in Deaf and mute; Sign language in anaesthetic management; Visual analogue scale.
Congenitally deaf and mute adult patients have speech and language disabilities. Establishing meaningful communication with these patients is a challenge in acute hospital-care settings, particularly when anaesthetic care is to be provided. Several methods can be adopted to facilitate interaction, such as sensitisation of health-care providers and training them in ways to communicate effectively. A thorough preoperative assessment and customised perioperative management satisfying the patients needs will ensure a successful outcome. Implementing pain protocols and using tools such as Visual Analog Scale (VAS) will mitigate stress and surgical related complications.
Pengelly L, Cousins J, McKechnie A.Communicating risks of obesity before anaesthesia from the patient's perspective: informed consent or fat-shaming? Anaesthesia. 2020 Jul 11. doi: 10.1111/anae.15195.
Jelly CA, Ende HB, Freundlich RE. Terminology, communication, and information systems in nonoperating room anaesthesia in the COVID-19 era. Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology. 2020 Aug;33(4):548-553. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000882
Brinkler R, Edwards Z, Abid S, Oliver CM, Lo Q, Stewart A. A survey of antenatal and peripartum provision of information on analgesia and anaesthesia. Anaesthesia. 2019 Sep;74(9):1101-1111. doi: 10.1111/anae.14745.
Arriaga AF, Sweeney RE, Clapp JT, et al.Failure to debrief after critical events in anesthesia is associated with failures in communication during the event.Anesthesiology. 2019;130(6):1039-1048.
Weller JM, Torrie J, Boyd M, Frengley R, Garden A, Ng WL, Frampton C.Improving team information sharing with a structured call-out in anaesthetic emergencies: a randomized controlled trial.British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2014 Feb 20;112(6):1042-9.
Weller JM, Long JA.Creating a climate for speaking up.British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2019 Jun 1;122(6):710-3.
Kearsley R, MacNamara C.Social media and online communities of practice in anaesthesia education. Anaesthesia. 2019;74(9):1202-1203.