This study aimed to examine the effects of communication skills training on physiotherapists’ supportive behavior during clinical practice. Two hospital clinics were randomly assigned to the intervention arm. Physiotherapists (n=12) received 8 hours of communication skills training targeted on supporting the psychological needs of patients. Physiotherapists (n=12) from 2 other hospital clinics formed a waitlist control arm. Verbal communication between each physiotherapist and a patient was recorded on an audiotape, and independent, blinded raters used the Health Care Climate Questionnaire to assess physiotherapists’ needs-supportive behavior (primary outcome). Independent raters’ Health Care Climate Questionnaire scores favored the intervention arm (Cohen’s d=2.27; P<.01).
Compared with controls, independent ratings exhibited that physiotherapists who completed the Communication style and exercise compliance in physiotherapy training were found to provide more support for patients' needs in a single assessed session. Long-term maintenance of this needs-supportive behavior should be examined.