Medical Students' Self-Assessment of Communication Skills During COVID-19 Pandemic at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences
Background. In addition to patient satisfaction and treatment compliance by patients, appropriate physician-patient communication leads to development of a relationship between physicians and patients based on trust. The purpose of this study was self-assessment of medical interns and stagers of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in communicating with the patients during COVID-19 pandemic. Methods. The population of this cross-sectional study included all medical stagers and interns at
... University of Medical Sciences, Iran from November to December, 2020. The research tool was a standard questionnaire of Interpersonal Communication Skills Scale developed by Vakili et al. to assess interpersonal communication skills. After the online questionnaires were filled by the students, we calculated and compared the mean score of self-assessment of communication skills for the medical stagers and interns. Additionally, we compared the mean scores of students' self-assessment in term of educational level, gender, wards and on duty hours during a week. Results. In this study, a total of 152 medical stagers and interns participated. More than half of the participants were female (55.92%). The mean self-assessment score of the participants was 93.83±9.78. The mean self-assessment score of medical stagers and interns was 93.15±8.13 and 94.51±12.26, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in self-assessment score of patient communication based on educational level and ward (surgical and non-surgical), but the mean score of self-assessment was significantly higher in females (P=0.044). Conclusion. Most medical interns and stagers had an average self-assessment score regarding patient communication during COVID-19 pandemic. So, appropriate training can improve medical students' communication skills. However, the communication skills required for medical students may vary depending on whether they are dealing with a pandemic or non-pandemic situation.