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Eval Health Prof. 2007 Mar;30(1):3-21.

Teaching patient communication skills to medical students: a review of randomized controlled trials.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Box 356320, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Tools to examine the effects of teaching interventions across a variety of studies are needed. The authors perform a meta-analysis of 24 randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of teaching on medical students' patient communication skills. Study quality is rated using a modified Jadad score, and standardized mean difference effect size (d) measures are calculated. Fifteen of 24 studies have sufficient data for analysis. Students' ability to establish rapport improves after teaching. The effects are large when the teaching intervention was small group discussion (n = 5) or giving structured feedback on a student-patient interview (n = 6). A similar effect of teaching is seen on student data gathering skills (n = 5). Teaching medical students patient communication skills using small group discussion or providing feedback on a student-patient interview results in improvement in student performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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