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Translating knowledge into practice for communication skills training for health care professionals

Professor Jette Ammentorp, Head of the Centre for Research in Patient Communication, University of Southern Denmark Meg Chiswell, Deputy Director OCPH and Peter Martin Director OCPH have recently published a paper that describes some of the main contextual facilitators for translating knowledge about communication skills training for health care professionals and recommends ways to guide practical implementation.
Access the full article here:

Clinical Communication: A core clinical skill that underpins quality cancer care

How we communicate with our patients, families and colleagues underpins everything we do in cancer care. Despite a huge body of literature over the last 40-50 years outlining the impact of sub-optimal cancer care there continues to be a very significant theory-practice gap. Read Professor Peter Martin’s full paper here:


New Research Collaborations

OCPH is delighted to support two research projects with colleagues at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Flinders University with activity scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. Associate Professor Prue Cormie, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is leading a project ‘Embedding exercise into routine cancer care: Developing tools and strategies to support exercise advice by the cancer care team and exercise participation by cancer patients’

The project will evaluate how to most effectively assist cancer patients to access exercise and develop pragmatic tools and strategies to help health professionals prescribe exercise medicine; and cancer patients to take exercise medicine. OCPH will be training health professionals in how to have these conversations with cancer patients. Prue is an accredited exercise physiologist whose research and clinical work focuses on the role of exercise in the management of cancer. She aims to enhance the lives of people with cancer through innovative research and effectively translating research into practice. Her track record includes over $10 million in competitive research grant funding, over 80 refereed publications and over 230 invited presentations including a TED talk.


Peter and Meg will also work with Dr Deidre Morgan who recently secured a grant from the South Australian government’s Palliative Care 2022 Grants Program to pursue a research project: ‘Enhancing dignity with personal care for people at the end-of-life in residential aged care’.

Dr Morgan is a Senior Lecturer in Palliative Care at Flinders University and a researcher from the Flinders Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death and Dying (RePaDD). Deidre has 25-plus year experience as an occupational therapist. Deidre’s clinical and research focus is in palliative care and how we can improve people’s function at end of life.



Person-centred care turns monologues into conversations   

at the Centre for Organisational Change in Person-Centred Healthcare equipping clinical and non-clinical healthcare staff with communication skills, monologues rife with diagnoses and treatment regimens delivered by clinicians are transformed into conversations between clinicians and patients that take into consideration the patient’s circumstances, goals, needs and literacy.

Read the full article here:


‘Peter Mac prioritises patient voices this World Cancer Day’

Peter Mac has partnered with the Centre for Organisational Change in Person-Centred Healthcare (OCPH) at Deakin University to make an innovative change to the experiences of patients, families and carers via the Your Thoughts Matter Program.

With funding support from Safer Care Victoria (SCV) and the Cancer Support Treatment and Research unit (Department of Health), the program designed and delivered by Professor Peter Martin, Professor Jonathan Silverman and Ms Meg Chiswell was highlighted on World Cancer Day.

Your Thoughts Matter is an evidence-based, sustainable program designed to build education capacity and embed core communication skills within health services. By ensuring that core communication skills are consistently delivered at every patient encounter by every staff member, both clinical and non-clinical, the program aims to empower patients to share their thoughts on “what matters to them” and shift the focus away from “what is the matter with them”.

Read more here:

Listen to Peter Mac’s Chief Medical Officer David Speakman here:

Conversations Matter-Department of Health 

OCPH is delighted to announce that we will be working with the Cancer Strategy area of the Department of Health
over the next 3 years to deliver a program of workforce education in healthcare communication. The project ‘Conversations Matter’ will be delivered across 7 regional Cancer Centres including 3 in the Deakin Medical School footprint (Warnambool, Barwon Health, Ballarat).

This work will form part of the strategy to respond to Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024 and will be part of a suite of regionally focused cancer improvement initiatives to improve and strengthen communication.

Recent Publications

Cancer Cachexia Syndrome

Professor Peter Martin has recently published a paper reflecting on 20 years of providing cancer cachexia care as the leader of an interdisciplinary team in an Australian Cancer Centre. The full article is available to download here:

12 Tips for Talking About Death

This conversation piece provides a series of practical strategies and communication tips for the context of life-limiting illness; however, many apply broadly. The piece is available to read here:

Communication Skills Training for Nurses: Is It Time For A Standardised Nursing Model?

The paper was co-authored by Debra Kerr, Peter Martin, Lynn Furber, Sandra Winterburne, Sharyn Milnes, Annegrethe Nielsen, and Patricia Strachan. The full paper is available to download here:

Responding to nurses’ communication challenges
Professor Peter Martin and Meg Chiswell have co-authored a paper on evaluating a blended learning program for communication knowledge and skills for nurses. and it is available to download here:

Excellence is never an accident… choice not chance…
OCPH Professor Peter Martin sharing his work involving OCPH. Read the full paper here.

Upscaling communication skills training – lessons learned from international initiatives
Read the full paper here.

May 15, 2022

Last modified: November 17, 2022 at 9:50 pm

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