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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 62

Communication Skills Training: Effects on Attitudes toward Communication Skills and Empathic Tendency

1 Adnan Menderes University, Aydin, Turkey
2 Npistanbul Neuropsychiatry Hospital, Umraniye, Istanbul, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
H Harlak
Adnan Menderes University, Aydin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19039739

Objective: This study explored and compared medical students' attitudes toward communication skills and empathic tendency before and after communication skills training. Methods: Fifty-nine first-year students voluntarily completed a questionnaire consisting of the Communication Skills Attitudes Scale and the Empathic Tendency Scale before and after training. K-means cluster analysis and Student's t-test were used for statistical analysis. Results: In the pre-test, 49% of the students had positive attitudes toward communication skills learning and 59% had higher empathic tendencies. In post-test, the mean score in the positive attitude group decreased significantly, whereas there was no change in the negative attitude group. In the high empathy group, empathy scores did not change significantly after training; however, in the low empathy group, empathic tendency significantly increased. Discussion: As students' low empathic tendency level became higher and positive attitudes toward communication skills learning significantly changed in a negative direction after training, we observed that our training programme seems to have an effect that makes students similar to each other in terms of their empathic tendency and attitudes toward communication skills learning. Women had more positive attitudes toward communication skills and their empathic tendencies were higher than men's. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that our curriculum is in need of further examination and modification. Future studies with larger samples are needed to investigate the effects of communication skills training on students' attitudes.

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