Document Type : Original Article


1 Australian College of Optometry, National Vision Research Institute, Carlton, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne

2 Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne

3 Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, East Melbourne

4 School of Social Science, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia,

5 Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, East Melbourne,

6 Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne,L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana, India


Purpose: Patient and family involvement in the education and training of medical practitioners
increases the likelihood that the care delivered will meet the needs of service users and
carers. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a consumer informed
educational program on knowledge and attitude to patient‑centered care among hospital
clinical trainees. Methods: A total of 66 junior medical staff and 35 orthoptists in training
were invited to participate in a controlled before‑and‑after trial at the Royal Victorian Eye
and Ear Hospital from October to November, 2011. Thirty‑eight participants were allocated
to the intervention program (interactive workshop) and 63 to the control program (assigned
reading). Questionnaires regarding knowledge, attitude, and practice, patient‑practitioner
orientation and communication were administered. Differences between groups and
differences before and after the program were evaluated using the t‑test or Chi‑square test, as
appropriate. Narrative data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed using Grounded
Theory qualitative analysis techniques. Results: A total of 24 participants (63%) completed
the intervention program and eight (13%) the control program. The intervention group felt
more prepared to introduce themselves and their role (Chi‑square = 11.19, P = 0.01) and
to acknowledge patients’ waiting time prior to consultation (Chi‑square 8.52, P = 0.04)
compared with the control group. For the intervention group, there was an improvement
in mean score on the Communication Assessment Tool (mean change = 0.55, P = 0.01).
Conclusion: There were minor improvements in self‑perceived knowledge and attitude to
patient‑centered care and communication among hospital clinicians‑in‑training following
a consumer informed education program. The majority of participants who received this
program agreed it would influence how they conducted future consultations. Further work
is required to determine if these improvements translate to sustainable changes in clinical
practice and patient satisfaction.


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