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Title: Teaching and assessing communication skills in the postgraduate medical setting: a systematic scoping review
Authors: Tan, Xiu Hui
Foo, Malia Alexandra
Lim, Shaun Li He
Lim, Marie Bernadette Xin Yi
Chin, Annelissa Mien Chew 
Zhou, Jamie 
Chiam, Min
Krishna, Lalit Kumar Radha 
Keywords: Assessment
Medical education
Skills training
Issue Date: 9-Sep-2021
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: Tan, Xiu Hui, Foo, Malia Alexandra, Lim, Shaun Li He, Lim, Marie Bernadette Xin Yi, Chin, Annelissa Mien Chew, Zhou, Jamie, Chiam, Min, Krishna, Lalit Kumar Radha (2021-09-09). Teaching and assessing communication skills in the postgraduate medical setting: a systematic scoping review. BMC Medical Education 21 (1) : 483. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Background: Poor communication skills can potentially compromise patient care. However, as communication skills training (CST) programs are not seen as a priority to many clinical departments, there is a discernible absence of a standardised, recommended framework for these programs to be built upon. This systematic scoping review (SSR) aims to gather prevailing data on existing CSTs to identify key factors in teaching and assessing communication skills in the postgraduate medical setting. Methods: Independent searches across seven bibliographic databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, ERIC, CINAHL, Scopus and Google Scholar) were carried out. Krishna’s Systematic Evidence-Based Approach (SEBA) was used to guide concurrent thematic and content analysis of the data. The themes and categories identified were compared and combined where possible in keeping with this approach and then compared with the tabulated summaries of the included articles. Results: Twenty-five thousand eight hundred ninety-four abstracts were identified, and 151 articles were included and analysed. The Split Approach revealed similar categories and themes: curriculum design, teaching methods, curriculum content, assessment methods, integration into curriculum, and facilitators and barriers to CST. Amidst a wide variety of curricula designs, efforts to develop the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes set out by the ACGME current teaching and assessment methods in CST maybe categorised into didactic and interactive methods and assessed along Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Learning Evaluation. Conclusions: A major flaw in existing CSTs is a lack of curriculum structure, focus and standardisation. Based upon the findings and current design principles identified in this SSR in SEBA, we forward a stepwise approach to designing CST programs. These involve 1) defining goals and learning objectives, 2) identifying target population and ideal characteristics, 3) determining curriculum structure, 4) ensuring adequate resources and mitigating barriers, 5) determining curriculum content, and 6) assessing learners and adopting quality improvement processes. © 2021, The Author(s).
Source Title: BMC Medical Education
ISSN: 1472-6920
DOI: 10.1186/s12909-021-02892-5
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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