Breaking Bad News in obstetrics: a randomized trial of simulation followed by debriefing or lecture

Chavi Eve Karkowsky, Ellen J. Landsberger, Peter S. Bernstein, Ashlesha Dayal, Dena Goffman, Robert C. Madden, Cynthia Chazotte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: Although communication skills represent an increasingly important aspect of medical care, little has been done to assess the best method of teaching these skills. Our study was designed to assess simulation-debriefing compared to lecture in teaching skills for Breaking Bad News (BBN) in obstetrics. Methods: This is a randomized prospective trial of house staff from a large academic medical center. Subjects initially underwent baseline simulation, followed by evaluation on BBN skills by themselves, a faculty observer, and the standardized patient (SP). The subjects were then immediately randomized to a debriefing session by faculty or to a lecture about BBN. Subsequently, both groups underwent a second simulation with the same three assessments, yielding post-intervention data. Results: 35 subjects completed both simulations. Both debriefing and lecture curricula showed improvement in scores by self (p = 0.010) and faculty (p 

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 15 2016


  • Breaking Bad News
  • communication skills
  • medical education
  • randomized controlled study
  • simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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