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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Communication skills training for mental health professionals working with people with severe mental illness

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (85th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

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Communication skills training for mental health professionals working with people with severe mental illness
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010006.pub2
Pubmed ID

Alexia Papageorgiou, Yoon K Loke, Michelle Fromage


Research evidence suggests that both mental health professionals and people with severe mental health illness such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder find it difficult to communicate with each other effectively about symptoms, treatments and their side effects so that they reach a shared understanding about diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Effective use of communication skills in mental health interactions could be associated with increased patient satisfaction and adherence to treatment. To review the effectiveness of communication skills training for mental health professionals who work with people with severe mental illness. We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Trials Register (latest search 17 February, 2016) which is compiled by systematic searches of major resources (including AMED, BIOSIS, CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, and registries of clinical trials) and their monthly updates, handsearches, grey literature, and conference proceedings. There are no language, date, document type, or publication status limitations for inclusion of records into the register. All relevant randomised clinical trials (RCTs) that focused on communication skills training (CST) for mental health professionals who work with people with severe mental illness compared with those who received standard or no training. We sought a number of primary (patient adherence to treatment and attendance at scheduled appointments as well as mental health professionals' satisfaction with the training programme) and secondary outcomes (patients' global state, service use, mental state, patient satisfaction, social functioning, quality of life). RCTs where the unit of randomisation was by cluster (e.g. healthcare facility) were also eligible for inclusion. We included one trial that met our inclusion criteria and reported useable data. We independently selected studies, quality assessed them and extracted data. For binary outcomes, we planned to calculate standard estimates of the risk ratio (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) using a fixed-effect model. For continuous outcomes, we planned to estimate the mean difference (MD) between groups, or obtain the adjusted mean difference (aMD) where available for cluster-randomised trials. If heterogeneity had been identified, we would have explored this using a random-effects model. We used GRADE to create a 'Summary of findings' table and we assessed risk of bias for the one included study. We included one pilot cluster-RCT that recruited a total of 21 psychiatrists and 97 patients. The psychiatrists were randomised to a training programme in communication skills, compared to a no specific training (NST) programme. The trial provided useable data for only one of our prestated outcomes of interest, patient satisfaction. The trial did not report global state but did report mental state and, as global state data were not available, we included these mental state data in the 'Summary of findings' table. There was high risk of bias from attrition because of substantial losses to follow-up and incomplete outcome data.Patient satisfaction was measured as satisfaction with treatment and 'experience of therapeutic relationship' at medium term (five months). Satisfaction with treatment was similar between the CST and NST group using the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-8) (1 RCT, n = 66/97*, aMD 1.77 95% CI - 0.13 to 3.68, low-quality evidence). When comparing patient experience of the therapeutic relationship using the STAR-P scale, participants in the CST group rated the therapeutic relationship more positively than participants in the NST group (1 RCT, n = 63/97, aMD 0.21 95% CI 0.01 to 0.41, low-quality evidence).Mental state scores on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) were similar between treatment groups for general symptoms (1 RCT, n = 59/97, aMD 4.48 95% CI -2.10 to 11.06, low-quality evidence), positive symptoms (1 RCT, n = 59/97, aMD -0.23, 95% CI -2.91 to 2.45, low-quality evidence) and negative symptoms (1 RCT, n = 59/97, aMD 3.42, 95%C CI -0.24 to 7.09, low-quality evidence).No data were available for adherence to treatment, service use or quality of life.* Of the total of 97 randomised participants, 66 provided data. The evidence available is from one pilot cluster-randomised controlled trial, it is not adequate enough to draw any robust conclusions. There were relatively few good quality data and the trial is too small to highlight differences in most outcome measures. Adding a CST programme appears to have a modest positive effect on patients' experiences of the therapeutic relationship. More high-quality research is needed in this area.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 20 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 361 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 361 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 57 16%
Student > Bachelor 50 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 22 6%
Student > Doctoral Student 19 5%
Researcher 15 4%
Other 62 17%
Unknown 136 38%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 60 17%
Nursing and Health Professions 57 16%
Psychology 27 7%
Social Sciences 20 6%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 8 2%
Other 43 12%
Unknown 146 40%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 14. 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 12 May 2019.
All research outputs
of 25,806,763 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 13,140 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 332,846 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 251 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,806,763 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 89th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,140 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.9. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 59% 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 332,846 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 251 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 49th percentile – i.e., 49% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.