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What is the evidence for the use of simulation training to teach communication skills in psychiatry?
  1. Josephine Neale
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Josephine Neale, Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children NHS Foundation Trust, London WC1N 3JH, UK; Josephine.neale{at}


Training in communication skills is a vital part of medical education worldwide and essential for psychiatrists, with poor communication often cited as a key contributing factor in healthcare complaints. Simulation training is a rapidly developing educational modality, and educationalists need to be aware of its possible uses and pitfalls in teaching communications skills in psychiatry. By exploring the advantages and disadvantages of the use of simulation training as a method of teaching communication skills in psychiatry, this article demonstrates a clear consensus in the literature that, while there are a number of difficulties to be overcome in simulation training, these are outweighed by the clear educational gains. In areas where resources are limited, there are suitable variations of simulation training which can be employed. Simulation training can facilitate teaching clinical and non-clinical skills simultaneously, and the use of simulation in mental health is an ideal method for addressing gaps in knowledge and skills relating to communication with patients, which could directly translate to an improvement in patient care.

  • adult psychiatry

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  • Contributors JN is the sole author. JN conceived the idea, performed the review of literature and produced the article alone with full oversight.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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