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HMRF - Health and Health Services (including HHSRF)


TCM is a growing global phenomenon. Despite its historical role in Chinese society, limited research explored TCM practitioner-patient interactions. Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of an intervention enhancing TCM practitioners' communication skills. Hypothesis: After controlling for baseline scores, TCM practitioners receiving training will integrate patients’ Western medical history into TCM treatment and show improved clinical communication skills. Design: pre-, post- and delayed post-test. Intervention: 8 Cantonese-speaking registered TCM practitioners in HK will be recruited in HA tripartite clinics (with TCM training qualifications in mainland China, and in three universities: HKU, CUHK, HKBU), and randomised into control (n=51) and experimental groups (n=51). The experimental group will be trained in patient-centred communication, with an internationally recognised and validated framework on taking Western medical history and communicating diagnosis and treatment plans. Consultations before and after training will be video-recorded and the quality of the interactions rated. The training will be evaluated by comparing the two groups before, immediately, and at 3 months after training. Instruments: validated, internationally recognised scales for measuring practitioners' clinical communication skills and the quality of interactions; measures of patient satisfaction, compliments and understanding of their treatment; structured questionnaire asking about practitioners’ ages, qualifications, experience and prior knowledge of western medicine. Expected results: The proposed intervention is expected to improve patient-centred communication and proficiency and to result in better care through the integration of patient’s Western medical history. The results will be used to develop and validate a communication model integrating TCM.

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