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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Training interventions for improving telephone consultation skills in clinicians

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (59th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
24 X users


54 Dimensions

Readers on

423 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
Training interventions for improving telephone consultation skills in clinicians
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010034.pub2
Pubmed ID

Alberto Vaona, Yannis Pappas, Rumant S Grewal, Mubasshir Ajaz, Azeem Majeed, Josip Car


Since 1879, the year of the first documented medical telephone consultation, the ability to consult by telephone has become an integral part of modern patient-centred healthcare systems. Nowadays, upwards of a quarter of all care consultations are conducted by telephone. Studies have quantified the impact of medical telephone consultation on clinicians' workload and detected the need for quality improvement. While doctors routinely receive training in communication and consultation skills, this does not necessarily include the specificities of telephone communication and consultation. Several studies assessed the short-term effect of interventions aimed at improving clinicians' telephone consultation skills, but there is no systematic review reporting patient-oriented outcomes or outcomes of interest to clinicians. To assess the effects of training interventions for clinicians' telephone consultation skills and patient outcomes. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, five other electronic databases and two trial registers up to 19 May 2016, and we handsearched references, checked citations and contacted study authors to identify additional studies and data. We considered randomised controlled trials, non-randomised controlled trials, controlled before-after studies and interrupted time series studies evaluating training interventions compared with any control intervention, including no intervention, for improving clinicians' telephone consultation skills with patients and their impact on patient outcomes. Two review authors independently selected studies for inclusion, extracted data and assessed the risk of bias of eligible studies using standard Cochrane and EPOC guidance and the certainty of evidence using GRADE. We contacted study authors where additional information was needed. We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane for data analysis. We identified one very small controlled before-after study performed in 1989: this study used a validated tool to assess the effects of a training intervention on paediatric residents' history-taking and case management skills. It reported no difference compared to no intervention, but authors did not report any quantitative analyses and could not supply additional data. We rated this study as being at high risk of bias. Based on GRADE, we assessed the certainty of the evidence as very low, and consequently it is uncertain whether this intervention improves clinicians' telephone skills.We did not find any study assessing the effect of training interventions for improving clinicians' telephone communication skills on patient primary outcomes (health outcomes measured by validated tools or biomedical markers or patient behaviours, patient morbidity or mortality, patient satisfaction, urgency assessment accuracy or adverse events). Telephone consultation skills are part of a wider set of remote consulting skills whose importance is growing as more and more medical care is delivered from a distance with the support of information technology. Nevertheless, no evidence specifically coming from telephone consultation studies is available, and the training of clinicians at the moment has to be guided by studies and models based on face-to-face communication, which do not consider the differences between these two communicative dimensions. There is an urgent need for more research assessing the effect of different training interventions on clinicians' telephone consultation skills and their effect on patient outcomes.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 24 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 423 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 421 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 57 13%
Student > Bachelor 50 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 35 8%
Researcher 34 8%
Other 26 6%
Other 85 20%
Unknown 136 32%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 117 28%
Nursing and Health Professions 61 14%
Psychology 20 5%
Social Sciences 15 4%
Unspecified 7 2%
Other 57 13%
Unknown 146 35%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 20. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 April 2017.
All research outputs
of 25,381,783 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,999 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 432,485 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 263 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,381,783 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,999 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.8. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 68% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 432,485 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 263 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 59% of its contemporaries.