Diana Kljenak (University of Toronto); Sagar Parikh (University of Toronto); Saulo Castel (University of Toronto)
The literature indicates that as many as 15% of patient-physician encounters are perceived as difficult. Patients who are perceived as difficult are more likely to have a mental disorder. Interprofessional collaboration emphasizes the opportunities for health care providers from different professions and work settings to work together to provide more coordinated and effective services for “difficult” patients.
A half-day workshop (mixture of didactic presentation and case-based small group learning) was designed with the main emphasis on education about common countertransference reactions that “difficult” patients invoke. Case examples served as a platform for reflection on audience’s countertransference reactions that then helped reframe the problem from “difficult” patient to “difficult” clinician-patient interaction. The workshop was evaluated through prea post-workshop questionnaire, as well as satisfaction evaluation questionnaire.
Participants were highly satisfied with the pilot workshop. 100% of respondents agreed that the workshop was relevant to their work and 87.5% of respondents reported that the workshop will alter their clinical practice. Their self-perceived knowledge of transference and countertransference and strategy to manage difficult encounters improved post workshop.
Applications and Future Directions
This format was replicated to a more diverse audience who endorsed increased ability to manage difficult clinician-patient encounters. Additional workshops are planned with participants analyzing several video clips of encounters, pre and post workshop, to gauge learning more deeply. Such skill building will improve clinician-patient encounters and improve health outcomes.