World Journal of Surgery

Improving Surgical Excellence: Can Coaching Surgeons Improve Patient Engagement?

Publication Date Nov 18, 2022


Non-technical skills complement technical skills in surgeons to provide best possible care for patients. The former is essential to promote patient engagement. Coaching has been introduced to surgeons as a method to improve non-technical skills. We aimed to investigate the impact of coaching for surgeons on patient engagement in the outpatient consultation setting. This was a single-centre cohort study conducted in South Australia. Consultant surgeons, suitable coaches, and patients were recruited. Coaches underwent further training by a human factors psychologist on being an effective coach. Outpatient consultations were recorded in an audio-visual format and analysed by investigators. Patient talking time, mutual eye gaze between surgeon and patient, and number of questions asked by the patient were measured as outcomes for patient engagement. 182 patients, 12 surgeons, and 4 coaches participated in the study. Each surgeon underwent 3 coaching sessions, 5 to 6weeks apart. There were 62 pre-coaching patient consultations, 63 patient consultations after one coaching session, and 57 patient consultations after two coaching sessions. The mean talking time of the patient increased significantly after a single coaching session (P < 0.05) without making significant difference to the total consultation time (p = 0.76). Coaching sessions did not have a significant effect on mutual eye gaze or mean number of questions asked by the patient. Coaching of non-technical skills for surgeons appears to objectively improve patient engagemen...


Mutual Eye Gaze Patient Engagement Mean Number Of Questions Non-technical Skills Outpatient Consultation Patient Consultations Improve Patient Engagement Audio-visual Format Skills For Surgeons Talking Time

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