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
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Department of Education and Research in Health Sciences, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
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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.

A neutral attitude may have a negative impact on effective and successful cooperation with the patient and members of an interdisciplinary team in the future. It is therefore reasonable to introduce teaching of communication skills into the curriculum of medical studies.

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