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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 132-135

A comparison of medical students', residents' and tutors' attitudes towards communication skills learning

1 Department of Psychiatry and Forensic Medicine, Institute of Neurosciences, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2 Escola Universitària d'Infermeria Gimbernat, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
3 Pere Virgili Health Care Park, Barcelona, Spain
4 Doctor Robert Foundation, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence Address:
Beatriz Molinuevo
Department of Psychiatry and Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra, s/n, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.188755

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Background: The consensus about the importance of communication skills in patient-care does not guarantee that students and faculty perceive the usefulness of these skills. This study evaluated and compared medical students', residents' and tutors' attitudes towards learning communication skills, and examined the association with gender and year of residency. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey with 492 participants (282 second-year students, 131 residents and 79 tutors). They completed the Communication Skills Attitude Scale (CSAS) and demographic/educational information. Results: In general, participants showed positive attitudes towards learning communication skills. Medical students, residents and tutors did not differ on the Positive Attitudes Scale (CSAS-PAS). Residents scored higher than medical students on the Negative Attitudes Scale (CSAS-NAS) (P < 0.01). Females showed higher scores on the CSAS-PAS (P < 0.05) and lower scores on the CSAS-NAS (P < 0.01) than males in all subsamples. The effect sizes were medium. There were no significant differences according to year of residency. Discussion: Medical students, residents and tutors consider training in communication skills an essential component for clinical practice and they agree about the need to learn these communication skills. Attention should be paid to measuring attitudes at all three levels of medical education in the design of communication skills courses.

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