Journal Article

Maintenance of the Effect of Training in Communication Skills: A Controlled Follow-Up Study of Level of Communicated Empathy

PER NERDRUM

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 27, issue 5, pages 705-722
Published in print October 1997 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 1997 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjsw.a011261
Maintenance of the Effect of Training in Communication Skills: A Controlled Follow-Up Study of Level of Communicated Empathy

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The long-term effectiveness of a communication skills course was tested in a controlled study of two matched groups of social work students. The program group participated in a 50-hour communication skills training course in addition to ordinary concept training, while the control group participated in social work concept training only. In the follow-up period, the groups engaged in similar field practice. Both groups were assessed with regard to level of communicated empathy both before and after the three-month training, as well as at 18-month follow-up. At the end of the training period, the program group showed a significant increase in the level of communicated empathy, while the control group did not. The program group not only maintained, but slowly increased, its level of communicated empathy. The control group also showed a small increase after the training period, but the difference between the groups was maintained. The interaction of specific communication training and field practice after training in the process of acquiring and maintaining increased levels of communicated empathy is discussed.

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Subjects: Social Work

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