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Open Access Research article

Evaluation of an inter-professional workshop to develop a psychosocial assessment and child-centred communication training programme for paediatricians in training

Debra Nestel1*, Sharon Taylor2 and Quentin Spender3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychological Medicine, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

2 Imperial College, St Mary's Higher Training Scheme, United Kingdom

3 Chichester & St George's Hospital Medical School, United Kingdom

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BMC Medical Education 2004, 4:25  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-4-25

Published: 21 November 2004

Abstract

Background

The quality of psychosocial assessment of children in consultations varies widely. One reason for this difference is the variability in effective mental health and communication training at undergraduate and post-qualification levels. In recognition of this problem, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom have developed the Child in Mind Project that aims to meet this deficit in medical training. This paper describes the evaluation of a workshop that explored the experiences and expectations of health care professionals in the development of a training programme for doctors.

Methods

The one-day inter-professional workshop was attended by 63 participants who were invited to complete evaluation forms before and immediately after the workshop.

Results

The results showed that the workshop was partially successful in providing an opportunity for an inter-professional group to exchange ideas and influence the development of a significant project. Exploring the content and process of the proposed training programme and the opportunity for participants to share experiences of effective practice were valued. Participants identified that the current culture within many health care settings would be an obstacle to successful implementation of a training programme. Working within existing training structures will be essential. Areas for improvement in the workshop included clearer statement of goals at the outset and a more suitable environment for the numbers of participants.

Conclusions

The participants made a valuable contribution to the development of the training programme identifying specific challenges. Inter-professional collaborations are likely to result in more deliverable and relevant training programmes. Continued consultation with potential users of the programme – both trainers and trainees will be essential.