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Interactive Theater: An Innovative Conflict Resolution Teaching Methodology

Meng, Anne L. MN, CPNP, RNC, AE-C; Sullivan, John MA

Journal for Nurses in Staff Development (JNSD): March-April 2011 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 65-68
doi: 10.1097/NND.0b013e31820eee5b

The incidence of verbally abusive families has dramatically increased in pediatric hospitals. A workshop incorporating interactive theater was designed to support staff in developing assertive communication skills to manage verbal abuse. Professional actors performed skits based on clinical scenarios. Participants entered the scenarios at any point to change the communication style and affect a positive outcome. Interactive theater enhances emotive learning that is essential to affect behavioral change. This is a useful strategy for educators to include in any training that is designed to change behavior.

The authors use interactive theater to support staff in using assertive communication skills to manage verbal abuse and propose its use in education designed to change behavior.

Anne L. Meng, MN, CPNP, RNC, AE-C, is Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Special Projects Coordinator, Department of Nursing Practice and Professional Development, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

John Sullivan, MA, is Codirector, Public Forum and Toxics Assistance Division/NIEHS Center for Environmental Toxicology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Anne L. Meng, 1244 Deer Ridge Drive, League City, TX 77573 (e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.