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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 55

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Factors that influence cancer patients' anxiety following a medical consultation: impact of a communication skills training programme for physicians.
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Liénard A, Merckaert I, Libert Y, Delvaux N, Marchal S, Boniver J, Etienne AM, Klastersky J, Reynaert C, Scalliet P, Slachmuylder JL, Razavi D
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Ann Oncol. 2006 Sep;17(9):1450-8. Epub 2006 Jun 26.
 
BACKGROUND: No study has yet assessed the impact of physicians' skills acquisition after a communication skills training programme on the evolution of patients' anxiety following a medical consultation. This study aimed to compare the impact, on patients' anxiety, of a basic communication skills training programme (BT) and the same programme consolidated by consolidation workshops (CW), and to investigate physicians' communication variables associated with patients' anxiety.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Physicians, after attending the BT, were randomly assigned to CW or to a waiting list. The control group was not a non-intervention group. Consultations with a cancer patient were recorded. Patients' anxiety was assessed with the State Trait Anxiety Inventory before and after a consultation. Communication skills were analysed according to the Cancer Research Campaign Workshop Evaluation Manual.
RESULTS: No statistically significant change over timeand between groups was observed. Mixed-effects modelling showed that a decrease in patients' anxiety was linked with screening questions (P = 0.045), physicians' satisfaction about support given (P = 0.004) and with patients' distress (P<0.001). An increase in anxiety was linked with breaking bad news (P = 0.050) and with supportive skills (P = 0.013). No impact of the training programme was observed.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows the influence of some communication skills on the evolution of patients' anxiety. Physicians should be aware of these influences.
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UniversitéLibre de Bruxelles, Facultédes Sciences Psychologiques et de l'Education, Brussels, Belgium.
PMID