Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access
Cover Image

Undergraduate Medical students ‘attitudes towards learning communication skills

F. JAHAN, M. Norrish, N. S. Jasim, Z. Abbas


Communication is an essential skill for establishing physician-patient relationships and for effective functioning among health care professionals. This skill can be learnt effectively during the under graduate medical students’ training program and help students to practice in patient care efficiently. A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the attitudes of medical students toward learning communication skills. All students in their first preclinical year and students in their final clinical year were asked to participate.  Data was collected using the previously validated communication skills attitude scale (CSAS). The overall response rate was 79%. The broadly neutral attitude displayed by preclinical students was replaced in the final year clinical students by a significant increase in positive attitudes towards learning communication and a significant reduction in negative attitudes toward learning communication skills. Final year medical students have a more positive attitude towards learning communication skills. It is likely that this change in attitude is mediated by an increase in awareness of the utility of learning good communication skills through their regular daily clinical exposure to patients.


Makoul G, Krupat E, Chang CH.(2007). Measuring patient views of physician communication skills: development and testing of the Communication Assessment Tool. Patient Education and Counseling. 2007;67(3):333–42. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

Jørgen Nystrup, Jan-Helge Larsen, and Ole Risør.(2010). Developing Communication Skills for the General Practice Consultation Process. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 2010 December; 10(3): 318–325.

Maguire P, Pitceathly C.( 2002).Key communication skills and how to acquire them. British Medical Journal. 2002;325(7366):697–700.

Abdulaziz Al Odhayani. (2011).Teaching communication skills. Canadian Family Physician. 2011 October; 57(10): 1216–1218.

Aspegren K, Lønberg-Madsen P.( 2005).Which basic communication skills in medicine are learnt spontaneously and which need to be taught and trained? Med Teacher. 2005;27(6):539–543.

Deveugel, M., Derese, A., De Maesschalck, S. és mtsai. (2005).Teaching communication skills to medical students, a challenge in the curriculum? Patient Education Counseling. 2005, 58, 265–270.

Brown RF, Bylund CL.(2008). Communication skills training: describing a new conceptual model. Academic Medicine. 2008;83(1):37–44

Kurtz S, Silverman J, Draper J: Teaching and learning communication skills in medicine. 2nd edition. Oxon: Radcliffe publishing; 2005:58-62Suter E, Arndt J, Arthur N, Parboosingh J, Taylor E, Deutschlander S.(2009). Role understanding and effective communication as core competencies for collaborative practice. Journal of Inter professional Care. Jan 2009;23(1):41–51.

Regan-Smith M, Young WW, Keller AM.(2002). An efficient and effective teaching model for ambulatory education. Academic Medicine 2002;77(7):593–9.

Rees, C., Sheard, C., Davies, S.(2002). The development of a scale to measure medical student’s attitudes towards communication skills learning: the Communication Skills Attitude Scale (CSAS). Medical Education. 2002, 36, 141–147.

De Jong Z, van Nies J, Peters S, Vink S, Dekker F, Scherpbier A.(2010). Interactive seminars or small group tutorials in preclinical medical education: results of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Medical Education 2010;10(1):79.

Wakefield A, Cooke S, Boggis C.(2003). Learning together: use of simulated patients with nursing and medical students for breaking bad news. International Journal of Palliative Nursing. 2003;9(1):32–38.

Anvik, T., Gude, T., Grimstad, H. és mtsai.(2007). Assessing medical students ‘attitudes towards learning communication skills – which components of attitudes do we measure? BMC Medical Education, 2007, 7; 4.

Sargeant J, MacLeod T, Murray A.(2011). An inter professional approach to teaching communication skills. Journal Continuing Education in Health Professions. 2011 Fall;31(4):265-7. doi: 10.1002/chp.20139.

Shankar, R. P., Dubey, A. K., Mishra, P. és mtsai: Students’ attitudes towards communication skills training in a medical college in western Nepal. Journal of Nepal Education Health, 2006, 19, 71–84.

Haak R, Rosenbohm J, Koerfer A, Obliers R, Wicht MJ.(2008). The effect of undergraduate education in communication skills: a randomised controlled clinical trial. European Journal of Dental Education 2008: 12(4): 213–218.

Ismaeil Fazel, Teamur Aghamolaei.Attitudes Toward Learning Communication Skills Among Medical Students of a University in Iran .Acta Medica Iranica, 2011; 49(9): 625-629.

Woelber, J. P., Deimling, D., Langenbach, D. and Ratka-Krüger, P. (2012), The importance of teaching communication in dental education. A survey amongst dentists, students and patients. European Journal of Dental Education, 16: e200–e204.1

Oliver D.(2011). Teaching medical learners to appreciate “difficult” patients. Canadian Family Physician. 2011;57:506–8. e148–50.

Loureiro EM, Severo M, Bettencourt P, Ferreira MA.(2011).Attitudes and anxiety levels of medical students towards the acquisition of competencies in communication skills. Patient Education Counseling. 2011 Dec;85(3):e272-7.

Rees C, Sheard C: The relationship between medical students' attitudes towards communication skills learning and their demographic and education-related characteristics. Med Educ 2002, 36:1017-1027.

Rees C, Sheard C: Evaluating first-year medical students' attitudes to learning communication skills before and after a communication skills course. Med Teach 2003, 25:302-307

Cleland J, Foster K, Moffat M: Undergraduate students' attitudes to communication skills learning differ depending on year of study and gender. Med Teach 2005, 27:246-251.

Liddell MJ, Davidson SK: Student attitudes and their academic performance: is there any relationship? Med Teach 2004, 26:52.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.