COMFORT™SM communication for oncology nurses: Program overview and preliminary evaluation of a nationwide train-the-trainer course

Elaine Wittenberg, Betty Ferrell, Joy Goldsmith, Sandra L. Ragan, Haley Buller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The COMFORT Communication Course for Oncology Nurses is a train-the-trainer program funded by the National Cancer Institute (R25) that provides nationwide communication training to improve patient-centered communication in cancer care. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the program and present an evaluation of three courses. Methods: The curriculum contains seven modules addressing palliative care communication. Pre-course survey of needs, post-course feedback, and follow-up at 6 and 12 months were used to evaluate the program. Results: To date, three courses have been presented to 269 nurses from 34 states and Washington D.C. Post-course evaluations showed high satisfaction with course design, content, and faculty. At 12 months, course participants had implemented institution-wide system changes and communication skill building. On average, each nurse trained 37 other healthcare providers. Conclusions: The COMFORT communication course provides the essential communication skills and tools oncology nurses need to provide quality care across the cancer continuum. Practice implications: Training is needed to prepare oncology nurses with the skills to provide patient-centered communication across the cancer continuum. These skills include training others in communication and implementing process improvement. The COMFORT communication train-the-trainer model is an effective approach to meet this need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-474
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume101
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer care
  • Communication skills training
  • Nurse education
  • Patient-provider communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'COMFORT™<sup>SM</sup> communication for oncology nurses: Program overview and preliminary evaluation of a nationwide train-the-trainer course'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this