Relationship of resident characteristics, attitudes, prior training and clinical knowledge to communication skills performance

Toni Suzuki Laidlaw, David M. Kaufman, Heather MacLeod, Sander Van Zanten, David Simpson, William Wrixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: A substantial body of literature demonstrates that communication skills in medicine can be taught and retained through teaching and practice. Considerable evidence also reveals that characteristics such as gender, age, language and attitudes affect communication skills performance. Our study examined the characteristics, attitudes and prior communication skills training of residents to determine the relationship of each to patient-doctor communication. The relationship between communication skills proficiency and clinical knowledge application (biomedical and ethical) was also examined through the use of doctor-developed clinical content checklists, as very little research has been conducted in this area. METHODS: A total of 78 first- and second-year residents across all departments at Dalhousie Medical School participated in a videotaped 4-station objective structured clinical examination presenting a range of communication and clinical knowledge challenges. A variety of instruments were used to gather information and assess performance. Two expert raters evaluated the videotapes. RESULTS: Significant relationships were observed between resident characteristics, prior communication skills training, clinical knowledge and communication skills performance. Females, younger residents and residents with English as first language scored significantly higher, as did residents with prior communication skills training. A significant positive relationship was found between the clinical content checklist and communication performance. Gender was the only characteristic related significantly to attitudes. CONCLUSIONS: Gender, age, language and prior communication skills training are related to communication skills performance and have implications for resident education. The positive relationship between communication skills proficiency and clinical knowledge application is important and should be explored further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Education
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • *Communication
  • *Internship and residency
  • Age factors
  • Attitude of health personnel
  • Clinical competence/*standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nova Scotia
  • Sex factors

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship of resident characteristics, attitudes, prior training and clinical knowledge to communication skills performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this