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Best Communication Practices for Patients With Depression

Sharing the PICOT Question

In patients with depression (P), how effective are decision aid tools (I) compared to no decision aid tools (C) in promoting better communication between depressed patients and nurses (O) within three months of testing such decision-aid tools and strategies (T)?

Completing a Literature Review

Despite an increase in the volume of published scholarship in the field of medical education and a steep increase in the number of journals that publish educational research, application acceptance rates have continued to fall (Haghani et al., 2022). One of the most common causes for rejection is the lack of a thorough, comprehensive, and current literature review that identifies a relevant issue and places the study in its correct context. The purpose of this editorial is to provide a road map with a plan and thorough instructions for organizing a literature review. Authors can increase the quality of their educational research and chances of publishing if they have a basic understanding of the processes involved in a literature review and follow a few key steps.

A literature review assists a researcher in “entering the conversation” by providing context, guiding methods, identifying advances, reducing the amount of duplicate research, and ensuring that professional standards are met. Many concerns presented by medical education research are related to the failure to do an excellent literature review. Repetitive research, a lack of theoretical underpinning, inadequate technique, and an inability to spread knowledge outside of a certain environment are examples of these challenges.

Reviewing Literature on Communication Practices Between Nurses and Depressed Patients.

The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important components of nursing and a vital component of providing patients with high-quality care (Giles et al., 2019). After completing their bachelor’s degree program, nurses in Norway must achieve certain communication standards. The Norwegian National Curriculum for Nursing Education specifies these prerequisites. Nurses must display moral responsibility, sensitivity, and empathy when dealing with patients and their families. They must also be able to train and counsel clients, families, coworkers, and students, as well as skillfully engage with people of various racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds and personality types.

Nursing students who speak a language different from the majority of their peers may have significant challenges in developing their communication skills (Salamonson et al., 2019). Language proficiency is usually asserted to be required for effective communication. Good communication skills are a crucial component of the fundamental competencies required of nurses worldwide. These abilities are required for patient-centered care and nursing practice. The quality of care provided to patients is determined by how nurses and other medical personnel welcome them. Prior to working with real patients, nurses can practice their communication skills by using communication simulation.

Literature on Decision Aid Tools for Depressed Patients

Shared Decision-Making is a technique in which patients and doctors collaborate to pick a course of treatment while taking patient preferences and the best available information into account. It is recommended that decisions regarding depression treatment be made in this manner. While the patient’s preferences are considered when making treatment decisions, it results in higher patient satisfaction, a higher proportion of treatment completion, and better clinical outcomes. In the case of depressive individuals, having treatment options that are compatible with the alternatives may hasten the commencement of therapy and minimize symptom severity.

Over the last ten years, people have been encouraged to participate actively in the decision-making process for their own medical care. The shared decision-making model is one of the conceptual models proposed in this new patient-centered health care paradigm (Jeanne et al., 2019). The purpose of shared decision-making is for the patient and the healthcare practitioner to agree on a treatment plan or a diagnosis. This is performed through a process known as collaborative decision-making. Patients provide information about their ideas, worries, attitudes, and preferences on the outcomes of various treatment options during this conversation with medical professionals. Medical experts discuss the ailment, the benefits and drawbacks of various diagnostic or therapeutic techniques, and the available remedies. Shared decision-making is crucial when there is an inadequate scientific understanding of the effectiveness or safety of currently available treatments or when all of these treatments show a comparable balance of benefits and risks.

Patient decision aids, or DAs for short, are instruments designed to aid and promote group decision-making while also assisting patients in making well-informed choices (Marques et al., 2022). Worksheets for use with paper and pencil, videos, audio-guided workbooks, internet tools, and interactive software are among the media used to create these materials. These resources are accessible for use by the patient on their own or in collaboration with a healthcare provider. Patients are provided explanations of numerous therapy options as well as a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of each option based on scientific evidence. Patients should also think about their own values and preferences in light of the potential benefits and downsides of various treatment options, as well as how these aspects may affect their overall health and quality of life.


Giles, T. M., Hammad, K., Breaden, K., Drummond, C., Bradley, S. L., Gerace, A., & Muir-Cochrane, E. (2019). Nurses’ perceptions and experiences of caring for patients who die in the emergency department setting. International Emergency Nursing47, 100789. DOI: 10.1016/j.ienj.2019.100789

Haghani, M., Abbasi, A., Zwack, C. C., Shahhoseini, Z., & Haslam, N. (2022). Trends of research productivity across author gender and research fields: A multidisciplinary and multi-country observational study. PloS one17(8), e0271998. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271998

Jeanne Wirpsa, M., Emily Johnson, R., Bieler, J., Boyken, L., Pugliese, K., Rosencrans, E., & Murphy, P. (2019). Interprofessional models for shared decision making: The role of the health care chaplain. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy25(1), 20-44. DOI: 10.1080/08854726.2018.1501131

Marques, F., Josloff, K., Hung, K., Wakamatsu, M., & Sepucha, K. R. (2022). Decision aids and shared decision-making in urogynecology. Menopause29(2), 178-183. DOI: 10.1097/gme.0000000000001901

Salamonson, Y., Glew, P., Everett, B., Woodmass, J. M., Lynch, J., & Ramjan, L. M. (2019). Language support improves oral communication skills of undergraduate nursing students: A 6-month follow-up survey. Nurse Education Today72, 54-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2018.08.027


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