Practical videoconference training: Experience from a Norwegian resource centre for rare disorders


  • Kari Hagen Frambu Centre for Rare Disorders
  • Grete Hummelvoll Frambu Centre for Rare Disorders



counselling, feedback, role play, skills training, videoconference


A pilot programme was developed for training professionals to communicate in counselling situations via videoconferencing, with participants from Norwegian resource centres for rare disorders. The programme was conducted at three videoconferencing studios, and entailed three sessions involving role play, feedback, reflection, and discussion. After each session, participants received a short web-based questionnaire. The programme was generally perceived as realistic, with 95% of participants considering it to be a suitable training method and 94% reporting greater awareness of how to engage successfully in dialogue during videoconferencing. Those who experienced technical difficulties reported significantly lower satisfaction with the role play, feedback, and discussion segments. Experiences conveyed in the feedback and reflection segments are described, demonstrating the importance of an appropriate technical infrastructure and giving useful insights into how videoconferences should be performed. The programme could be replicated and developed further and offered to professionals who give counselling services via videoconferences.

Author Biographies

Kari Hagen, Frambu Centre for Rare Disorders

Kari Hagen is Head of Communication and Innovation at Frambu Centre for Rare Disorders. She received a masters degree from the University of Tromsø (Norway) in 2010. Her thesis compared participants’ satisfaction with videoconferences and face-to-face meetings in counselling services.

Grete Hummelvoll, Frambu Centre for Rare Disorders

Grete Hummelvoll is a Clinical Psychologist at Frambu Centre for Rare Disorders. In relation to her previous work areas, she has published several articles in norwegian journals. as the lead author, in 2013 she published the article ‘Young adults’ experience of living with neurofibromatosis type 1’ in Journal of Genetic Counseling (22 [2]).


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How to Cite

Hagen, K., & Hummelvoll, G. (2016). Practical videoconference training: Experience from a Norwegian resource centre for rare disorders. Communication and Medicine, 12(2-3), 199–209.