Cardiff Metropolitan University

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Facilitating healthcare dieticians' communication skills: A reflective practice intervention

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-08, 13:04 authored by Gareth Picknell, Brendan Cropley, Stephen MellalieuStephen Mellalieu, Sheldon Hanton

Reflective practice (RP) is a widely accepted approach for facilitating experiential learning within the professional development of service delivery practitioners. However, a dearth of empirical evidence exists to support the potential efficacy of RP for improving applied practice effectiveness. This study examined whether improving professionals' ability to engage in RP at more advanced critical levels impacted their use of communication skills (CS) in practice. A quasi-experimental, multiple-baseline, crossover design was employed with 20 Emirati female dieticians who were assigned to one of two groups and exposed to three RP treatments and three control periods. Baseline and postintervention measures of RP and CS were administered to assess whether improved RP skills subsequently impacted practice behaviours. A significant difference between experimental and control groups' RP scores were reported over the treatment period. For CS there was an intervention effect for: listening and rapport; questioning skills; comprehensiveness; organization; transitional statements; and approach to planning and education. The findings indicate that the intervention was successful for improving participants' reflective skills, resulting in more favourable practice behaviours (e.g., CS). This study makes a novel contribution to the literature by providing rigorous empirical evidence to support the value of RP as a metacognitive strategy for improving service delivery behaviours in health professionals





  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Picknell, G., Cropley, B., Mellalieu, S., & Hanton, S. (2023) 'Facilitating healthcare dieticians' communication skills: A reflective practice intervention', International Journal of Training and Development. doi: 10.1111/ijtd.12306

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Stephen Mellalieu Sheldon Hanton

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing in Demanding Environments

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  • © The Publisher


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