A longitudinal analysis of the communication skills of medical students: examiner scores, video analysis and patient satisfaction

Peter leadbetter, I Fletcher, H O'Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


1) What is the relationship between medical students’ final examiner communication skills scores (4th year OSCE) and coded video analysis of these students communication skills with patients on community placement (5th year)? (2) What is the relationship between coded video analysis of students’ communication skills & patient satisfaction scores on community placement (5th year)? Background A large body of literature provides evidence that effective patient-doctor communication leads to more positive health and well-being outcomes for both the patient and the physician, and the delivery of high quality medical care1,2,3,4. Communication skills thus become a taught and assessed core competency of UK medical schools. This study reports on the relationship between the communication skills of 4th year medical students in their exam finals (OSCEs) with simulated patients, and after final examinations their subsequent communication with patients in primary care settings. Summary of work 39 medical students were videoed interviewing 2 to 6 patients (n=145) in GP surgeries in their final year (5th year). The quality of the videoed communication was rated with the Verona consensus coding scheme (VR-CoDES). The coding scheme detects and quantifies student responses to patient cue/concerns regarding emotional distress. That is, do students provide space for actual patients to 3 / 7 discuss psychosocial distressing issues? All these students had passed communication skills final examinations previously in a simulated setting (4th year OSCE). This examiner data was also collected. Patient satisfaction with students’ communication skills data (CAT-S questionnaire) was also collected from videoed patients in the GP clinics. Analysis We are in the process of analysing the results. Data will be inputted and analysed in SPSS to examine the relationship between coded video communication skills scores in GP surgeries (5th year) and (a) OSCE communication skills examiner and (b) patient satisfaction questionnaires at these surgeries (5th year). Conclusion and future directions The interpretation and discussion of the findings will pay particular attention to the context of teaching and assessing communication across the transition from medical school to health care settings. It has also highlighted the need to longitudinally examine students’ communication skills outside the simulated setting. This is particularly relevant as assessment of communication skills is largely based on simulated student/patient consultations at the University of Liverpool.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Apr 2010
EventAssociation for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Annual Scientific Meeting - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jul 201023 Jul 2010


ConferenceAssociation for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Annual Scientific Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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