Psychosocial abilities of first-year medical students participating in a clinical communication course

Y. G. Bachner, H. Castel, T. Kushnir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background. Responding to psychosocial needs of patients is an important element of medical practice and is dependent on the psychosocial abilities of the physician. One of the aims of teaching doctor-patient communication in medical schools is to strengthen these qualities. We assessed changes in the psychosocial abilities of first-year medical students participating in a year-long clinical communication course. Methods. Sixty-eight first-year medical students and 49 students from the Medical Laboratories School (control group) participated in the study. The students completed, once each at the beginning (October) and at the end (July) of the course, a structured questionnaire that included a psychosocial abilities measure and sociodemographic details. Results. No significant differences were found between the two groups of students regarding their sociodemographic characteristics. Furthermore, the medical students and the control group did not differ significantly in their psychosocial abilities mean scores at the beginning of the communication course (baseline). At the end of the course, a significant improvement in mean scores was found among medical students compared with an insignificant decline among the control group. Conclusion. Participation in an extensive clinical doctor- patient communication course guided by multidisciplinary teams may strengthen psychosocial abilities of medical students. The study needs to be replicated with a larger sample size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-82
Number of pages3
JournalNational Medical Journal of India
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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