Relationship between communication skills training and doctors’ perceptions of patient similarity

C Clucas, L St Claire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Objective: Based on patient-centred approaches to communication skills training, the study aimed to investigate the effect of amount of communication training received by doctors and medical students on their perceived similarity of patients. It was hypothesized that participants who have received more communication training will see patients as less similar to one another. Methods: Thirty-six hospital consultants, 35 general practitioners and 56 clinical medical students in the United Kingdom who were recruited via the snowballing technique and medical student societies took part in this observational study. They indicated hours and form of communication skills’ training received and completed a 3-item semantic differential scale on which they were to rate the two last patients they had seen suffering from a similar medical condition. Pearson Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to analyse the data. Results: Participants with greater communication skills’ training (≥ 30 hours) perceived patients as more different from each other than participants with medium (between 10 and 30 hours) and smaller communication skills’ training (≤10 hours), Kruskal-Wallis test (2, 119) = 6.78, p = .034. Conclusion: Communication training appears to decrease perceived similarity of patients but more research is needed to establish causality. Implications for patient satisfaction and doctors’ respect for patients are discussed.
Translated title of the contributionRelationship between communication skills training and doctors’ perceptions of patient similarity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30 - 35
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Education
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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