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Communication training and patient satisfaction: A randomized trial study from Mashhad, Iran

Authors Nahid Ahmadian Yazdi, Sedigheh Sadat Tavafian, Ali Emadzadeh, Anooshirvan Kazemnejad, Fazlollah Ghofranipour

Published 8 April 2008 Volume 2008:2 Pages 137—142

Nahid Ahmadian Yazdi1, Sedigheh Sadat Tavafian2, Ali Emadzadeh3, Anooshirvan Kazemnejad4, Fazlollah Ghofranipour1

1Health Education Department, 4Biostatistic Department, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran; 2Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research, Tehran, Iran; 3Department of Public Health, Mashhad University Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Background: In many healthcare systems, client satisfaction has been considered as an important indicator of primary healthcare quality. Hence communication education might be leading to better quality of family planning services and higher client satisfaction. This study aimed to evaluate to what extent the communication skills training program could improve client satisfaction.

Methods: This was a randomized controlled trial undertaken in health centers of Mashhad University Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran from July to September 2004. Eligible participants were from two population targets, including healthcare providers and their clients. All 35 health centers were randomly divided into intervention (n = 17) and control groups (n = 18). The healthcare providers were working in intervention centers (n = 24) not in control centers (n = 27) received an additional communication skills training program in spite of routine education. Data regarding communication knowledge, attitude, and skills from healthcare providers and the satisfaction rate from the their clients (n = 47 client for each group) were collected at two time points.

Results: This study showed that communication knowledge and skills of health workers improved significantly in the intervention group (P < 0.05). Furthermore the score of client satisfaction was significantly improved in the intervention group after 1 month follow-up (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The communication skills training program is an effective intervention and may improve the satisfaction rate of clients.

Keywords: client satisfaction, communication training, attitude, skills, knowledge, Iran