Observed communication skills: how do they relate to the consultation content? A nation-wide study of graduate medical students seeing a standardized patient for a first-time consultation in a general practice setting
AuthorAnvik, Tor; Nordøy, Tone; Gude, Tore; Vaglum, Per; Bærheim, Anders; Eide, Hilde; Fasmer, Ole B.; Gravgaard, Peter; Grimstad, Hilde; Hjortdahl, Per; Holen, Are; Skirbekk, Helge; Finset, Arnstein
Background: In this study, we wanted to investigate the relationship between background variables, communication skills, and the bio-psychosocial content of a medical consultation in a general practice setting with a standardized patient. Methods: Final-year medical school students (N = 111) carried out a consultation with an actor playing the role of a patient with a specific somatic complaint, psychosocial stressors, and concerns about cancer. Based on videotapes, communication skills and consultation content were scored separately. Results: The mean level of overall communication skills had a significant impact upon the counts of the patient's psychosocial, concerns of cancer, and the information and planning parts of the consultation content being addressed. Gender and age had no influence upon the relationship between communication skills and consultation content. Conclusions: Communication skills seem to be important for the final-year students' competence in addressing sensitive psychosocial issues and concerns as well as planning and informing with a patient being representative for a fairly complex case in general practice. This result should be considered when designing communication skills training as part of the curriculum plans in medical schools.
CitationBMC Medical Education 7(2007) article no 43
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