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Relationship-centered communication training for pediatric hematology/oncology providers to improve patient experience
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  • Christine Yost,
  • Rosa Banuelos,
  • Joan Shook,
  • Mary Shapiro
Christine Yost
Baylor College of Medicine

Corresponding Author:christine.yost@bcm.edu

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Rosa Banuelos
Texas Children's Hospital
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Joan Shook
Baylor College of Medicine
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Mary Shapiro
Texas Children's Cancer Center and Hematology Centers
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Background Pediatric hematology/oncology providers frequently have challenging discussions with patients/families, yet receive little formal training in communication. Our institution aimed to meet this need with a workshop in relationship-centered communication (RCC), which focuses on empathy, reflective listening, and patient/family understanding. This study evaluates the efficacy of this intervention to improve patient/family experience in healthcare encounters. Procedure Our team at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH), a quaternary care pediatric and women’s hospital, developed a 5.5-hour RCC skills workshop in collaboration with the Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH). ACH-trained TCH providers led participants in 3 pediatric-specific skill sets that incorporated didactics, role-playing skills practice, and reflective feedback. Patient experience was measured using Press Ganey email surveys (PGS) that were collected for a minimum of 12 months pre-course and 3 months post-course. Results Forty-nine pediatric hematology/oncology providers voluntarily participated in the RCC skills workshop over a 3-year period. The majority of participants were physicians (77.6%), female (85.7%), and in the first 10 years of practice (61.2%). Of the 15 participants who had both pre- and post-course PGS available, scores significantly improved in all areas of the care provider section (P < 0.05). Conclusions RCC skills training improved pediatric hematology/oncology patient/family experience.