Study of the Status of Physicians-Patient Communication among Medical Interns


avatar Sa’eedeh Farajzadeh 1 , * , avatar E Noohi 2 , avatar H Mortazavi 3

1 Assistant professor, Dermatology department, Kerman University of Medical Sciences and Health Services

2 Faculty member, Faculty of Nursing, Kerman University of Medical Sciences and Health Services

3 General practitioner

How to Cite: Farajzadeh S, Noohi E, Mortazavi H. Study of the Status of Physicians-Patient Communication among Medical Interns. J Med Edu. 2006;8(2):e105249. doi: 10.22037/jme.v8i2.744.


Journal of Medical Education: 8 (2); e105249
Published Online: December 01, 2005
Article Type: Research Article
Received: July 01, 2005
Accepted: December 01, 2005


Background and purpose: Proper communication between a physician and a patient is the key to diagnosis and management of diseases.Communication skills are essential for gathering information from patients, enhancing patients trust on physicians, relaxing them and managing them .The main purpose of this study was to determine the states of communication skills of medical interns to communicate with patients.Method: In this cross sectional study, communication skills of 72 medical interns of Kerman Medical University was assessed based on a checklist completed with direct observation and a questionnaire completed through interview with patients.The checklist included two parts: the first part for individual characteristics and the second part for 24 specifications related to initiation of an interview, conducting an interview and completion of aninterview.Another questionnaire with a similar structure was developed to gather patients’ comments about communication of medical interns with them.Results: Communication skills of medical interns were weak in 29.3%, moderate in 85.4% and good in 15.9% of interns. An agreement between observed communication skills and patients’ survey results about greeting, asking patients’ names and calling them by their names, acceptable physicians’ appearance, listening to patients’ words, friendly doctor- patient encounter, empathizing with patients (0.37, 0.26, 0.44 respectively) was seen. Results of individual variables show that relationship between age of patient and his or her opinion about communication was significant.Based on patient’s survey, the communication score given to the student increases with age of the patient.Conclusion: The study shows deficits in doctor-patient communication of medical interns in history taking. Given the importance of communication skills, the necessity to teach them in clinical skill centers before real contact with patients is obvious.


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