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VERDIS: Video-based communication research in a hospice

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Video-based communication research and training in decision-making and empathy in supportive and palliative care



  • Contact name

    Ruth Parry

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Nottingham

  • Research summary

    Sensitive, effective communication lies at the heart of healthcare, including the care of people who are terminally ill. We know a lot about communication characteristics that such people and their friends/relatives prefer, e.g. empathic, honest but hopeful communication, and opportunities to be involved in plans and decisions. But, it has been hard in the past to articulate the actual skills and procedures that can achieve this kind of communication.
    Video and audio based research using an approach called conversation analysis provides new possibilities for building very precise understandings of the implicit skills that staff and the people in their care use to communicate with one another. This kind of research is starting to be used to design training that is effective in improving healthcare communication.
    We plan a study at LOROS Hospice in Leicester about the communication between experienced doctors and patients, their friends and relatives. We are doing this to better understand the communication skills needed for good care in caring for terminally ill people. We will make and analyse 35 recordings of consultations or conversations between up to ten experienced hospice doctors and up to 35 patients (and accompanying friends or relatives). Participants will choose whether their recording will be video or audio-recorded. We will use conversation analysis to describe communication patterns in the recordings. We will focus on identifying and describing communication skills and procedures associated with shared planning/decision-making and with empathy. We will use what we find to design training videos for health and social care staff and trainees. The videos will include clips from real life consultations. Professionals who already provide communication skills training will test out our new materials in formal courses, and we will ask them and their trainees about whether they find the new materials acceptable and helpful.

  • REC name

    West Midlands - Coventry & Warwickshire Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    15 May 2014

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion