Measuring outcomes of communication partner training of health care professionals: How do we evaluate outcomes with feasible, valid and reliable methods?

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Background: People with aphasia have greater risks of experiencing adverse events or medical errors in health care settings [1, 2]. Furthermore, people with aphasia often depend crucially on health care professionals’ ability to support their participation in information sharing, decisions about health care, and other communicative exchanges associated with appropriate health care [3]. As a consequence of these challenges in patient-provider communication, implementation of evidence- based methods of communication partner training is becoming increasingly frequent in different health care settings with frequent contact to people with aphasia [4, 5]. In Denmark, for example, the method of Supported Conversation of Adults with Aphasia (SCATM) is in the process of being implemented in more than five hospitals [6, 7]. This raises the question of how the outcomes of training and implementation are best measured in research and in clinical practice in a valid, reliable and feasible manner.
Rationale: Research studies have used a variety of outcome measures, including blind ratings of videotaped interactions or self-rating questionnaires for staff [8]. Video rating does not seem feasible with large groups of trainees, e.g. all staff from a ward. Self-rating questionnaires, however, present another set of issues when used as outcome measures, including the need to examine their content validity, reliability and sensitivity to change [9]. This work appears to be lacking for most of the available questionnaires. However, it is important in order to lay the groundwork for future studies, which compare the efficacy and outcome of different methods of implementing conversation partner training in clinical practice.
The overall purpose of this round table is to:
1. provide an overview of outcome measures used in research studies of communication partner
training in health care settings [4, 7];
2. present results from three different questionnaires used with health professionals in Denmark
before and after communication partner training in order to compare their sensitivity to
change; and
3. discuss and brainstorm, how we may design outcome measures for use in both research and
clinical practice?
Questions to be addressed:
1. How are researchers and clinicians currently assessing the outcomes of communication partner training in professional contexts such as hospitals?
2. How does this match the intended outcomes of communication partner training in health care settings?
3. What are our requirements to outcomes measures after communication partner training in professional contexts, regarding feasibility, validity, reliability and sensitivity? Do clinicians and researchers have different needs?
Implications for clinical practice: There is a need to develop different types of outcome measures for communication partner training in the health care context, including questionnaires for health care staff, which address generally agreed-upon problem areas in patient-provider communication and are reliable as measurements as well as sensitive to change after training.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference - City University of London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Dec 201616 Dec 2016
Conference number: 17


ConferenceInternational Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference
LocationCity University of London
CountryUnited Kingdom

ID: 168840906