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Expert Communication Training for Providers in Community Health Centers


Background. Community health center (CHC) clinicians describe significant challenges in delivering care for populations with complex health needs. Intervention. A three-workshop series was presented to 102 providers working in CHCs. Training focused on four areas identified through online needs assessment: challenging interactions; patient perspective; health literacy; and motivational interviewing. Evaluation methods. A retrospective pre-post evaluation measured self-perceived change in content knowledge in all four areas. Participants documented commitments to change behaviors across workshops, which were analyzed for recurring themes. Results. Paired t-tests documented improvement in all four content areas. Content analysis of commitments yielded four themes: empowering patients, structuring care, understanding patients, and reflecting purposefully. Of the sixty-eight percent of participants responding to post-workshop queries about their commitments (n=70), 94% report having fully implemented changes in practice behavior or planning to do so. Conclusions. Providers at CHCs benefit from opportunities to learn and reflect together about communication challenges in practice.

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