Attitudes Toward Learning Communication Skills Among Medical Students of a University in Iran
Communication skills play a paramount role in clinical practice. In every clinical setting, medical doctors need to interview their patients efficiently and be persuasive toward their health issues. This study aimed at assessing the attitudes of medical students toward learning communication skills at Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. In this cross-sectional study, the questionnaires were distributed to 210 medical students. Twenty eight students were excluded since they either did not return the questionnaires or filled them out incompletely. So, totally 182 questionnaires were analyzed (response rate=%86.6). Data was collected using communication skills attitude scale (CSAS) which consists of 26 items, 13 indicative of positive attitude and 13 indicative of negative attitude toward learning communication skills. Data were analyzed using SPSS16 software. The mean age of the participants was 21.7 (SD=2.7). Male and female students accounted for 38.5% and 61.5% of the participants respectively. The mean scores for positive attitude was 54.8 (SD=7.3) out of 65, and the mean scores for negative attitude was 35.3 (SD=5.9) out of 65. There were statistically significant differences between male and female students and between basic sciences and pathophysiology students on the one hand and clinical course students on the other as regards their attitudes toward learning communication skills (P<0.05). Although students had strongly positive attitudes toward learning communication skills, curriculum planners should not lose sight of negative attitudes and measures need to be taken to minimize or if possible eliminate them.
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