Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Can you still show care with a quickie?: Multi-disciplinary health professionals’ experience of a one-day communication skills workshop compared to an express two-hour workshop (#242)

Lyndal Gray 1 , Jodie Nixon 1 2 , Jane Turner 3 , Jessica Schaife 4 , Bena Cartmill 5 6
  1. Occupational Therapy Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  2. School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences The University of Queensland , Brisbane
  3. Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  4. Cancer Services, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  5. Centre for Functioning and Health Research Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba
  6. Speech Pathology Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia


To explore the experience of multi-disciplinary health professionals participating in communication skills workshops: comparison of CARE One Day (8 hours) workshop to a modified CARE Express (2 hours) workshop.


CARE (Communicating Actively, Responding Empathically) is a partially randomised pilot study comparing a one-day communication workshop, to a modified two-hour Express communication workshop. One hundred and forty-seven participants were recruited. One Day (n=47), CARE Express (n= 48), Control (n=50). Workshop content has identical theory, CARE One day incorporates roleplay, while CARE Express critiques video footage. Following completion of the workshop, a convenience sample of n=10 from each workshop group (representation from each health professional group) were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview. The interview consisted of eight open ended questions. Transcripts were transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis was conducted by four reviewers.


Thematic analysis revealed 4 major themes (each with subthemes) that were consistent with both groups. Themes included: Perceived barriers of communication with patients; The CARE workshops; Value of communication and; Outcomes. Both groups reported value for the workshops that they attended, and that they translated theory learnt into clinical practice. The CARE One day group reflected “I hate doing role play with a passion”, however all reported that the opportunity for experiential learning provided a greater insight into the multi-faceted benefits of communication. The CARE Express group reported that watching video footage was a good opportunity to reflect on communication, and what constitutes more positive patient interactions.


Participants who attended the CARE One day and CARE Express reported positive learning experiences that translated into their clinical practice. The workshops gave identical theory, however, practical application in both role play and critique of video footage were expressed as acceptable training options by both groups of staff working in cancer care.