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Med Teach. 2010;32(10):860-3. doi: 10.3109/01421591003728211.

Can nonverbal communication skills be taught?

Author information

1
Shiga University of Medical Science, Japan. hirono-tky@umin.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

While nonverbal communication (NVC) is an essential part of a physician's interpersonal skills, it has attracted relatively little attention in medical education.

AIM:

To develop a program for teaching NVC skills, and to examine whether it would improve student's awareness and performance of NVC.

METHODS:

A total of 106 preclerkship medical students were randomly assigned to 14 groups for a communication skills training session before an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Five faculty members served as session facilitators, of whom three provided the original program (n = 67) and two provided the NVC intervention program (n = 39). After the training session, students wrote their goals for the OSCE medical interview, which were analyzed for content. The student's performance of NVC was evaluated based on the video recording of the OSCE.

RESULTS:

Students in NVC group were significantly more likely to write goals related to NVC, but no significant differences were found in the NVC evaluations at the OSCE.

CONCLUSION:

The intervention was effective in increasing student's awareness of NVC, but it was not sufficient to change the actual performance. Further research is needed to explore whether additional training would actually improve their NVC performance.

PMID:
20854164
DOI:
10.3109/01421591003728211
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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