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Palliative Medicine ; 35(1 SUPPL):193, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1477122


Poor communication skills can compromise patient care in palliative medicine. As accreditation bodies have only called for mandatory communication skills trainings (CSTs) in recent years, CSTs are new to most hospital departments. This systematic scoping review aims to gather data on existing CSTs to identify key factors in teaching and assessing communication skills in the palliative care setting so that effective evidence- based CSTs applicable to the post-COVID-19 era can be designed. Independent searches across 7 bibliographic databases were carried out. A 'split approach' comprising thematic analysis, directed content analysis and tabulated summaries of included articles was employed. 25,809 abstracts were identified, and 109 articles were included and analysed. Themes revealed include problems with existing CSTs;guiding principles for curriculum design;teaching methods;curriculum content;assessment methods and outcomes measured;integration of curriculum;and resources, facilitators and barriers to effective training. A major flaw in existing CSTs is the lack of curriculum structure, focus and standardisation. The planning and execution of a CST curriculum needs to be stepwise and competency based. Holistic assessment by faculty, simulated patients and peers on the learner's performance plays a key role in consolidating knowledge. The educational institute must clearly define the objectives of the programme, allocate sufficient administrative and financial resources, and ensure the wellbeing of its stakeholders. Beyond medical education, a spiral curriculum with longitudinal assessments will equip learners in palliative care with the necessary skills and confidence to face complex communication scenarios in our healthcare landscape. Good communication skills can improve patient satisfaction, treatment compliance, and reduce physician burnout and the frequency of malpractice claims. This strengthens the overall doctor-patient relationship in palliative care. (Table Presented) .