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Med Educ. 2001 Mar;35(3):225-31.

Assessing the development of communication skills in undergraduate medical students.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Psychology, Whelan Building, The University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The teaching of clinical communication skills' teaching has become an important part of medical school curricula. Many undergraduate medical courses include communication skills training at various points in their curriculum. Very few reports have been published on the development of communication skills over the duration of a medical undergraduate training.

AIMS:

To determine the change in communication skills between early and mid-stages of the students' 5-year curriculum, and to investigate the predictive and theoretical significance of knowledge and understanding of communication skills in relation to observed performance.

PARTICIPANTS:

Students entering as the first cohort to the new medical curriculum at Liverpool Medical School (n=207). Nine students withdrew leaving 198 students who completed two summative assessments in June 1997 (level 1) and November 1998 (level 2).

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

Repeated measures multivariate ANOVAS were applied to the main study data to detect any change in performance between levels 1 and 2.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:

An improvement in communication skills was found in medical students over 17 months of their undergraduate teaching: that is from the level 1 to the level 2 assessment. Knowledge and understanding of communication skills at initial assessment did not show the predicted association with performance at level 2.

PMID:
11260445
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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