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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 323-324

Difference in dental students' communication skills as perceived by self, patients, and their trainers


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manav Rachna Dental College, FDS, MRIIRS, Faridabad, Haryana, India
2 Department of Pedodontics, Manav Rachna Dental College, FDS, MRIIRS, Faridabad, Haryana, India

Date of Submission06-Mar-2020
Date of Decision05-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance23-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication16-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Meena Jain
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manav Rachna Dental College, Sector 43, Surajkund Road, Faridabad 121002, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_45_20

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How to cite this article:
Sharma A, Jain M, Yadav NR, Jain V. Difference in dental students' communication skills as perceived by self, patients, and their trainers. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2020;18:323-4

How to cite this URL:
Sharma A, Jain M, Yadav NR, Jain V. Difference in dental students' communication skills as perceived by self, patients, and their trainers. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Apr 17];18:323-4. Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2020/18/4/323/303640



Dear Editor,

Patient-centered care, satisfaction, and patients' trust toward care are directly related to verbal and nonverbal communication.[1],[2] However, the present dental curriculum in India lacks a structured coursework for communication skills training. In such a setting, students usually learn from experiential learning of their trainers. While determining the requirements of a structured communication program in a dental institute in India, we were interested in understanding the differences in patients', trainers', and self-perceptions of dental students' communication skills.

In a cross-sectional study at a dental college, 65 clinical undergraduate and postgraduate students (95% confidence level; confidence interval 10) were selected using the lottery method. Case history and treatment planning session between the participating student and their patient was video recorded after consent from both. After the session, the student was provided a self-evaluation form containing questions regarding demographic details, followed by the American Board of Internal Medicine's Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire.[3] Two questions regarding the most desirable and strongest skills of a clinician during the session were added to the questionnaire. The same questions were asked from the patient by a trained interviewer. The video recordings were provided to five faculty evaluators for assessment using the same questionnaire. The scores for each questionnaire could range from 10 to 50.

The mean scores for self-evaluation, patient evaluation, and faculty evaluation were 37.97 ± 5.99, 33.15 ± 3.69, and 27.25 ± 6.52, respectively. One-way ANOVA was used to compare the scores between and within the different groups. The F-ratio was 56.27 (P < 0.00001). A statistically significant difference was observed between the mean scores for all the three evaluations in 3rd-year BDS, 4th-year BDS, and postgraduate students [Table 1]. A statistically significant correlation was observed between the self-assessment and faculty assessment scores (r = 0.347, P = 0.007). The faculty members gave a lower score as compared to the patients.
Table 1: Comparison of the American Board of Internal Medicine's scores according to the year of study

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Patients perceived respect and autonomy as the most desirable skills for their student clinician, while explaining the patient about the disease and treatment as their strongest skill. In the present study, both faculty members and students believed that explaining the patient about the treatment and tell-show-do technique to be the most desirable skill. Similarly, in another study conducted in the U. K.,[4] the students and faculty identified understanding and respecting patient's feelings as an important void in their communication.

Understanding the differences in perceptions of communication skills may be useful in planning institution-level improvement in health-care communication education for a better patient-centered care.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Stojan JN, Clay MA, Lypson ML. Assessing patient-centred care through direct observation of clinical encounters. BMJ Qual Saf 2016;25:135-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Jain M, Sharma A, Thapliyal A, Jain V. Dental students' reflection on patient's trust in clinician. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2017;15:265.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
Symons AB, Swanson A, McGuigan D, Orrange S, Akl EA. A tool for self-assessment of communication skills and professionalism in residents. BMC Med Educ 2009;9:1.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
McKenzie CT. Instructor and Dental Student Perceptions of Clinical Communication Skills via Structured Assessments. J Dent Educ 2016;80:563-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
    



 
 
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