Determine the Attitude of Dental Students for Learning Communication Skills at Undergraduate Level
Objective: To assess the attitude of dental students for learning communication skills at undergraduate level.
Methods: A research based on cross-sectional comparative study design was conducted on final year BDS students at two reknowned dental colleges of Karachi naming Fatima Jinnah Dental College and Liaquat College of Medicine and Dentistry. Approval was taken from the principals of both dental colleges as well as from Ethical Review Board (ERB). The duration of the study took place from March-May 20. Inclusion were the final year dental students from both colleges.
A validated questionnaire 'Communication Skills Attitudes Scale (CSAS)' was used for data collection. SPSS version 23 was used to analyse data. Mean and SD was computed for numeric variables and frequency and percentage was computed for categorical variables. Independent t-test was used to assess the significant difference with respect to gender.
Results: 144 students participated in the study. Out of which 42 (28.97%) were males and 103 females (71.03%). The mean age of the students was 21.91 ± 1.03 years. The mean and standard deviation of the positive attitude score was 3.84 and 0.59 whereas of negative attitude score was 2.55 and 0.43. Both male and females had a high score of positive attitudes as compared to negative attitude similarly females had a high score of positive attitudes as compared to negative attitudes. There were no statistically significant differences observed in positive and negative attitudes of males and females (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Both male and female students showed a positive attitude towards learning effective communication skills. Therefore, it has become a dire need for the students to acquire communication skills for improving doctor-patient relations and improving dental healthcare. Policy makers should consider including communication skills in the curriculum as part of formal education.