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Med J Malaysia. 2009 Mar;64(1):51-5.

Training future doctors to be patient-centred: efficacy of a communication skills training (CST) programme in a Malaysian medical institution.

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Department of Psychology, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, HELP University College, Kuala Lumpur.


This study evaluates the efficacy of the preclinical communication skills training (CST) programme at the International Medical University in Malaysia. Efficacy indicators include students' (1) perceived competency (2) attitude (3) conceptual knowledge, and (4) performance with regard to patient-centred communication. A longitudinal study with a before-after design tracked a preclinical cohort's progress on the aforementioned indicators as they advance through the training. Results indicate that following the CST, students perceived themselves to be more competent in interpersonal communication, had more positive attitude towards patient-centred communication, and developed a better conceptual knowledge of doctor-patient communication. In addition, those with good conceptual knowledge tend to demonstrate better communication skills performance at the Objective Structure Clinical Examination 12 months following the initial CST.

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