Design and evaluation of an assertiveness communication training programme for nursing students

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2019, 28 (9-10), pp. 1990 - 1998
Issue Date:
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© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims: The aims of this paper are to (a) outline the design and implementation of an evidence-based assertiveness communication workshop for Japanese nursing students; and (b) report on the evaluation of nursing students’ satisfaction with the workshop using the Satisfaction with Assertiveness Communication Training Program Survey. Background: A body of research attests to the relationship between assertive communication and patient safety. This paper reports the design and evaluation of an assertiveness communication training programme designed to enhance students’ ability to communicate safety in clinical practice. Design: A culturally appropriate and evidence-based assertiveness communication workshop, informed by Gagne's instructional design principles, was implemented for third-year nursing students in two Japanese higher educational institutions in December 2017. A descriptive study design was used to evaluate the workshop. Methods: Students’ perceptions of the workshop were evaluated using the Satisfaction with Assertiveness Communication Training Program Survey, which includes ten items that are rated using a 5-point Likert scale from strongly disagree [1] to strongly agree [5]. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The Revised Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE 2.0) guidelines were used in the reporting of this study. Results: A total of 111 students from a population of 150 participated in the study giving a response rate of 74%. The overall mean satisfaction score was 4.12 indicating a high level of agreement with each of the survey items. With the exception of two items, the mean scores were above 4.0. “Confidence in using assertiveness communication skills” and “Utilising role-plays to practice learnt skills” received mean scores of 3.71 and 3.90, respectively. Conclusion: Given the compelling research about the importance of assertive communication in health care, the results from this study support continuing investment in assertiveness communication training programmes for nursing students. Relevance to clinical practice: Assertive communication is an essential communication skill for safe nursing practice. Culturally appropriate assertiveness communication training programmes are of particular relevance in hierarchical healthcare contexts.
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