Gynecologic oncology providers endorse practice-changing impact of communication skills training

Carolyn Lefkowits, Kerri Bevis, Elise C. Carey, Jeanelle Sheeder, Robert M. Arnold, Lisa Podgurski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Effective communication improves patient outcomes and is crucial to good patient care. Communication skills training (CST) has been shown to improve communication skills in non-gynecologic oncology specialties. We sought to develop and test CST for gynecologic oncology (GO) providers. Methods: We developed and conducted a two-day CST workshop with an interprofessional group of 20 GO providers over two years. Participants were surveyed pre-workshop, immediately post-workshop and one month post-workshop regarding self-assessed preparedness to handle challenging communication tasks, workshop evaluation and impact on practice. McNemar's tests were used for pre-post comparisons. Results: Of 12 challenging communication tasks assessed, all participants reported improvement in at least one, with a median of 10. The proportion of participants feeling more than “somewhat prepared” improved significantly for all communication tasks assessed (p < 0.05); improvement was sustained one month later. One month post-workshop, 86% reported thinking about what they had been taught at least weekly and 93% reported encountering situations where they used their CST skills at least weekly. Rates of reported practice-changing impact were >75% for each communication skill. All participants rated the CST educational quality very good or excellent and strongly agreed it should be required of all GO clinicians. Conclusions: Participants felt the workshop provided high-quality, practice-changing education. As a result of the workshop, participants reported statistically significant, sustained improvement in preparedness to handle challenging communication tasks. CST for GO providers is feasible, with high rates of perceived effectiveness and impact on clinical practice. CST workshops should be integrated into GO training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-638
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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