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Student characteristics associated with interpersonal skills in medical consultations

Abstract : Background: The quality of medical care depends on effective physician-patient communication. Interpersonal skills can be improved through teaching, but the determinants are poorly understood. We therefore assessed the factors associated with the interpersonal skills of medical students during simulated medical consultations. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of fourth-year medical students participating in simulated consultations with standardized patients. Each video-recorded medical consultation was independently assessed by two raters, using a cross-cultural adaptation of the Four Habits Coding Scheme (4-HCS) into French. We then collected information on demographics and education-related characteristics. The relationship between the overall 4-HCS score and student characteristics was modeled using univariable and multivariable linear regression. Results: Our analytical sample included 165 medical students for analysis. The factors significantly associated with 4-HCS score were gender (β = − 4.8, p = 0.011) and completion of an international clinical placement (β = 6.2, p = 0.002) or a research laboratory clerkship (β = 6.5, p = 0.005). Education-related characteristics, multiple-choice examinations in the first to third preclinical years, and number of medicine or surgery clerkships were not significantly associated with 4-HCS score. Conclusions: Undergraduate students with higher level of interpersonal skills during video-recorded medical consultations with standardized patients are more likely to be female, to have completed international clinical placement as part of the ERASMUS exchange program or research laboratory clerkship.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 13, 2022 - 3:16:48 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 3:32:22 AM


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Alexandre Bellier, Philippe Chaffanjon, Patrice Morand, Olivier Palombi, Patrice Francois, et al.. Student characteristics associated with interpersonal skills in medical consultations. BMC Medical Education, BioMed Central, 2022, 22 (1), pp.338. ⟨10.1186/s12909-022-03412-9⟩. ⟨inserm-03694267⟩



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