Does the SPIKES protocol and formal teaching increase clinician confidence when breaking bad news during the COVID pandemic?

O. Olukoya, P. Ishak, A. Ali, D. McLaughlan

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review

Abstract

Background
Breaking bad news is often a daunting and complex task that we must all perform as part of our clinical duties. Given the current climate with the coronavirus, this task has unfortunately become an even bigger part of the day-to-day practice of many of us.

Aim
To establish how confident clinicians felt they were at breaking bad news, their familiarity with the SPIKES protocol and if they had a consistent approach they employed. Additionally, to ascertain if formal training in this, at any stage, corresponded to increased confidence with this task.

Method
A questionnaire was distributed to doctors and surgeons of all grades, primarily within the hospital. The questionnaire asked the responders how confident they felt at breaking bad news, how frequently they had to break bad news in an average month, if they had had any formal training in breaking bad news, and their familiarity with the SPIKES protocol.

Results
There were 58 responses. 60.4% had to break bad news 2 or more times in an average month. 86.2% had received formal training in breaking bad news. 60.3% felt confident or very confident. 53.4% had a consistent strategy and 58.6% were aware of the SPIKES protocol. 69% expressed they would like additional teaching with the SPIKES protocol.

Conclusions
Formal training does not guarantee knowledge of the SPIKES protocol or a consistent approach but has some impact on perceived confidence with the task. This task is, however, one most feel requires continued training to perform well.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberznab259.594
Number of pages1
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Volume108
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • coronavirus
  • climate
  • pandemics

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