University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


PA Education


Laura Witte, PhD, PA-C


Effective interpersonal communication leads to improved patient outcomes and is a critical skill to develop in advanced practice provider (APP) education programs. Advanced communication skills, such as breaking bad news, remain challenging for practicing clinicians and deserve dedicated educational opportunities. This systematic review evaluates the literature on breaking bad news educational interventions in physician assistant and advanced practice nursing programs. The results of this review suggest a positive effect of simulation on improving student skills, despite most being single-site, nonrandomized studies with variable assessment tools. Standardized patients and role-playing emerged as the most utilized simulation modalities. Further research is needed to determine the optimal methodology to incorporate teaching sessions into these accelerated educational programs. The development of validated assessment instruments in this field would be helpful to support additional studies.


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