Instructor and dental student perceptions of clinical communication skills via structured assessments

Academic Article

Abstract

  • The aim of this study was to use structured assessments to assess dental students' clinical communication skills exhibited during patient appointments. Fourth-year dental students (n=55) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham evaluated their own interpersonal skills in a clinical setting utilizing the Four Habits Coding Scheme. An instructor also assessed student-patient clinical communication. These assessments were used to identify perceived strengths and weaknesses in students' clinical communication. Both instructor assessments and student self-assessments pinpointed the following clinical communication skills as effective the most often: patient greeting, avoidance of jargon, and non-verbal behavior. There was also relative agreement between instructor assessments and student self-assessments regarding clinical communication skills that were rated as not effective most frequently: ensuring patient comprehension, identification of patient feelings, and exploration of barriers to treatment. These resulted pointed to strengths and weaknesses in the portion of the curriculum designed to prepare students for effective provider-patient communication. These results may suggest a need for the school's current behavioral science curriculum to better address discussion of potential treatment barriers and patient feelings as well as techniques to ensure patient comprehension.
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    Author List

  • McKenzie CT
  • Start Page

  • 563
  • End Page

  • 568
  • Volume

  • 80
  • Issue

  • 5