Evaluation of the attitude of students from medical faculties of the Medical University of Warsaw (Poland) and University of Basel (Switzerland) towards the development of communication competence
More details
Hide details
Department of Education and Research in Health Sciences, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Lucyna Barbara Iwanow   

Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Żwirki i Wigury 81, 02-091, Warszawa, Polska
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2019;25(2):95–99
Communication skills of medical staff have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the therapeutic process and patient safety. Positive attitudes towards learning these competences may in the future result in a desire to develop them further.

The aim of the study was to assess the attitude of medical students towards the development of communication skills depending on the dominant health care system – private (Switzerland) and State (Poland).

Material and methods:
The pilot study covered a population of 261 students from the Medical University of Warsaw (MUW), Poland, and University of Basel (UB), Switzerland. A voluntary and anonymous survey was carried out using a standardised CSAS questionnaire, consisting of 26 items presented in two subscales – positive (PAS) and negative (NAS), evaluated according to a 5-point Likert scale. The difference between the attitude of students from Poland and Switzerland was evaluated using the Student’s t-test together with the calculation of Cohen›s d effect size.

Polish and Swiss students presented a neutral attitude towards learning communication skills and towards their own skills in this area. At the same time, the attitudes of UB students were slightly more positive than those of MUW students (UB: 90.4/130 versus MUW: 88.9/130, t = 2.555; p = 0.011). In the area of self-assessment of communication skills, the obtained results were at a low level (average in the range from 2.2 to 2.7/5). There were no statistically significant differences in this field between students from the two countries.

Tan T, Zhou H, Kelly M. Nurse-physician communication – An integrated review. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2017; 26 23–24: 3974–3989.
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Standard 6. Clinical Handover. Safety and Quality Improvement Guide. 2012; Available from: https://www.safetyandquality.g... uploads/2012/10/Standard6_Oct_2012_WEB.pdf.
Interprofessional Education Collaborative. Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: 2016 update. 2016 [cited 2018 13th June]; Available from:
Woloschuk W, Harasym P, Temple W. Attitude change during medical school: a cohort study. Med Educ. 2004; 38(5): 522–34.
Powerhouse H.C. Euro Health Consumer Index. 2017; Available from: pdf.
Collins S, Hewer I. The impact of the Bologna process on nursing higher education in Europe: A review. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2014; 51: 150–156.
Lahtinen P, Leino-Kilpi H, Salminen L. Nursing education in the European higher education area — Variations in implementation. Nurse Education Today. 2014; 34: 1040–1047.
MNiSW, Obwieszczenie Ministra Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego z dnia 9 stycznia 2018 r. w sprawie ogłoszenia jednolitego tekstu rozporządzenia Ministra Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego w sprawie standardów kształcenia dla kierunków studiów: lekarskiego, lekarsko-dentystycznego, farmacji, pielęgniarstwa i położnictwa (Dz.U. 2018 poz. 345). 2018.
Davies R. The Bologna process: the quiet revolution in nursing higher education. Nurse Educ Today. 2008; 28(8): 935–42.
Panczyk M, et al. Communication skills attitude scale: a translation and validation study in asample of registered nurses in Poland. BMJ Open, 2019. 9.
MUW. The Bioethics Committee of the Medical University of Warsaw. 2018; Available from: http://komisja-bioetyczna.wum..... pl/content/szczeg%C3%B3%C5%82owe-informacje-oraz-wzorydokument%C3%B3w.
Rees C, Sheard C, Davies S. The development of a scale to measure medical students’ attitudes towards communication skills learning: the Communication Skills Attitude Scale (CSAS). Med Educ. 2002; 36(2): 141–147.
Koponen J, Pyörälä E, Isotalus P. Comparing three experiential learning methods and their effect on medical students’ attitudes to learning communication skills. Medical Teacher. 2012; 34(3): e198-e207.
Molinuevo B, Torrubia R. Validation of the Catalan version of the communication skills attitude scale (CSAS) in a cohort of south European medical and nursing students. Educ Health (Abingdon) 2011; 24(1): 1–13.
Power B, Lennie S. Pre-registration dietetic students’ attitudes to learning communication skills. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012; 25(2): 189–197.
Khashab S. Attitudes of Alexandria Medical Students towards Communication Skills Learning. J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2006; 81(5–6): 355–372.
Ihmeideh F, Al-Omari A, Al-Dababneh K, Attitudes toward Communication Skills among Students’-Teachers’ in Jordanian Public Universities. Australian Journal of Teacher Education. 2010; 35(4): 1–11.
Cleland J, Foster K, Moffat M. Undergraduate students’ attitudes to communication skills learning differ depending on year of study and gender. Medical Teacher. 2005; 27(3): 246–251.
Shankar R, et al. Student attitudes towards communication skills training in a medical college in Western Nepal. Educ Health (Abingdon). 2006; 19(1): 71–84.
Harlak H, Dereboy C. Gemalmaz A. Validation of a Turkish translation of the Communication Skills Attitude Scale with Turkish medical students. Educ Health (Abingdon). 2008; 21(1): 1–11.
Harlak H, et al. Communication skills training: effects on attitudes toward communication skills and empathic tendency. Education for Health. 2008; 21(2): 1–6.
Fazel I. Aghamolaei T. Attitudes toward learning communication skills among medical students of a university in Iran. Acta Medica Iranica. 2011; 49(9): 625–629.
Marambe K, Edussuriya D, Dayaratne K, Attitudes of Sri Lankan medical students toward learning communication skills. Education for Health. 2012; 25(3): 165–171.
Busch A, et al. Do medical students like communication? Validation of the German CSAS (Communication Skills Attitude Scale). GMS Zeitschrift für Medizinische Ausbildung. 2015; 32(1): 1–21.
Alotaibi F, Alsaeedi A. Attitudes of medical students toward communication skills learning in Western Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J. 2016; 37(7): 791–795.
Anvik T, et al. Assessing medical students’ attitudes towards learning communication skills–which components of attitudes do we measure? BMC Medical Education. 2007; 7(4): 1–7.
Laurence B, et al. Adaptation of the Communication Skills Attitude Scale (CSAS) to dental students. Journal of Dental Education. 2012; 76(12): 1629–1638.
Ahn S, Yi Y, Ahn D. Developing a Korean communication skills attitude scale: comparing attitudes between Korea and the West. Med Educ. 2009; 43(3): 246–253.
Bandura A, and Walters R. Social learning and personality development. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1963.
Wood W, Tanner K, The Role of the Lecturer as Tutor: Doing What Effective Tutors Do in a Large Lecture Class. CBE—Life Sciences Education. 2012; 11(1): 3–9.
Nor N, Yusof Z, Shahidan M. University of Malaya dental students’ attitudes towards communication skills learning: implications for dental education. Journal of Dental Education. 2011; 75(12): 1611–1619.
Rees C, Sheard C. Evaluating first-year medical students’ attitudes to learning communication skills before and after a communication skills course. Medical Teacher, 2003. 25(3): 302–307.