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Training to enhance psychiatrist communication with patients with psychosis (TEMPO): cluster randomised controlled trial

McCabe, R. ORCID: 0000-0003-2041-7383, John, P., Dooley, J. , Healey, P. R., Cushing, A., Kingdon, D., Bremner, S. & Priebe, S. (2016). Training to enhance psychiatrist communication with patients with psychosis (TEMPO): cluster randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 209(06), pp. 517-524. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.115.179499


A better therapeutic relationship predicts better outcomes. However, there is no trial-based evidence on how to improve therapeutic relationships in psychosis.

To test the effectiveness of communication training for psychiatrists on improving shared understanding and the therapeutic relationship (trial registration: ISRCTN94846422).

In a cluster randomised controlled trial in the UK, 21 psychiatrists were randomised. Ninety-seven (51% of those approached) out-patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder were recruited, and 64 (66% of the sample recruited at baseline) were followed up after 5 months. The intervention group received four group and one individualised session. The primary outcome, rated blind, was psychiatrist effort in establishing shared understanding (self-repair). Secondary outcome was the therapeutic relationship.

Psychiatrists receiving the intervention used 44% more self-repair than the control group (adjusted difference in means 6.4, 95% CI 1.46–11.33, P<0.011, a large effect) adjusting for baseline self-repair. Psychiatrists rated the therapeutic relationship more positively (adjusted difference in means 0.20, 95% CI 0.03–0.37, P = 0.022, a medium effect), as did patients (adjusted difference in means 0.21, 95% CI 0.01–0.41, P = 0.043, a medium effect).

Shared understanding can be successfully targeted in training and improves relationships in treating psychosis.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in a revised form in British Journal of Psychiatry This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2016.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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