Teaching communication skills online

Phyllis Butow, BA (Hons), Dip Ed, MClinPsych, MPH, PhD of The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia discusses teaching communication skills online. She mentions one of the issues being how communication skills is taught, this is because the best way of teaching communication skills is face-to-face, getting feedback in a safe environment where different strategies can be attempted. However, this is not very cost effective and it is difficult to get people together. Dr. Butow mentions the need to replicate online what can be done in person. Strategies that have already been applied include: showing people videos of communication and getting them to reflect on where things are going well or not, and getting them to engage with the material. Discussing prognosis is a challenge, both to the patient and the health professional, regardless it is significant for decision making and planning for the future. Dr. Butow concludes by stating that a certain amount can be done online, but it has to be supplemented with a face-to-face contact. Recorded at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and International Society of Ocular Oncology (ISOO) 2016 Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer held in Adelaide, Australia.

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