|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 323-324
Difference in dental students' communication skills as perceived by self, patients, and their trainers
Ankur Sharma1, Meena Jain1, Nisha Rani Yadav1, Vishal Jain2
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 Submission||06-Mar-2020|
|Date of Decision||05-Aug-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||23-Oct-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||16-Dec-2020|
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manav Rachna Dental College, Sector 43, Surajkund Road, Faridabad 121002, Haryana
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|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
Patient-centered care, satisfaction, and patients' trust toward care are directly related to verbal and nonverbal communication., 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. 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|
Click here to view
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., 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
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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