Training can help surgeons tell patients best and worse scenarios

By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) – Surgeons who get extra training to sharpen their communication skills may have an easier time explaining best and worst case scenarios to frail elderly patients as part of shared decision making, a small study suggests. For the study, researchers paid 25 surgeons to complete a two-hour training session on how to discuss a range of possible outcomes with patients and families. Before and after training, researchers analyzed transcripts of surgeons’ interactions with patients and families, awarding up to 100 points for optimal communication.
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