Provider-Related Issues

The Wednesday AccrualNet Post (7-18-12): The Gift of Gab-- 7 ways to improve your informed consent discussions

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2012

Originally posted by: LInda Perraco, AccrualNet Co-Moderator, on the former AccrualNet site on Jul 18, 2012.



It seems like talking comes pretty naturally to health professionals. It's one of things we do constantly and think about infrequently. But communication skills, especially those used with patients throughout the informed consent process, are critically important to a patient's decision to participate. While many professionals feel comfortable and confident with their approach to presenting a trial, others find the experience more challenging. Unless you were lucky enough to receive some formal communication skills training during your education, or you had a clinical trials mentor--it's likely that you learned by doing.


You might be surprised to know that there is a significant body of research that addresses the best way to have these conversations. And, that there are evidence-based strategies that are logical, practical and cost nothing to implement. Want to know more? Check out this article on AccrualNet that highlights strategies that you can incorporate into your practice. In addition to highlighting relevant research, you'll see communication strategies recommended by managers of successful clinical trial programs.


It's easy to overlook the importance of attending to practical communication issues--like timing, structuring of information, choice of words, and good listening skills. We're all familiar with the barriers that must be overcome to improve accrual to clinical trials. Certainly effective communication skills alone can't solve the problem of accrual.  But it is easy to imagine that we won't solve the problem without it!


Read the article on AccrualNet and comment here about how you use these skills--or about how you plan to add these skills to your practice.



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