Orthopaedic outpatients’ assessment of information, continuity and care: An intervention study

Birgitte Nørgaard, Poul-Erik Kofoed, Jette Ammentorp


Introduction: Despite the increasing interest in patient-centered communication in health care, patient surveys continue to show that patients experience serious problems connected with poor communication. Research has provided evidence that health care professionals’ communication skills and patient-centredness can be enhanced through training. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a communication skills training course for health care professionals would improve the adult orthopaedic out-patient’s experience of quality of information, care and continuity.

Methods: An intervention study assessing the effect of a communication skills training course for health care professi-
onals on the orthopaedic outpatients’ evaluation of the quality of care. Data were collected using a computer touch screen questionnaire with 19 items rated on a four-point scale assessing patients’ evaluation of information, continuity and care. Patients were included consecutively in the study (non-equivalent groups).

Results: A total of 11.631 patients answered the questionnaire; 8.315 before and 3.316 after the intervention. The proportion of patients giving top ratings after the course increased for 6 of 19 questions, of which three showed significant increases (p < 0.05). For 13 of 19 questions the test showed decreasing rates of top scores with seven significant results (p > 0.05).

Discussion: The results were ambiguous as to the impact of the course on the outpatients’ assessment. Among the trends found, are a more positive impact on nurses’ communication as compared to doctors’ communication and a positive impact on patients’ assessment of care in general.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v4n1p42

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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