Developing a Korean communication skills attitude scale: comparing attitudes between Korea and the West

Med Educ. 2009 Mar;43(3):246-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03271.x.


Objectives: We aimed to develop a Korean version of the Communication Skills Attitude Scale (CSAS) created by Rees et al. in order to elucidate the positive and negative aspects of Korean pre-medical and medical students' attitudes towards communication skills (CS) learning.

Methods: We performed two surveys. In the first of these, 325 pre-medical and medical students completed a translated version of the CSAS. In the second survey, 257 medical students and doctors-in-training answered five open-ended questions to obtain more qualitative data about their attitudes. Results Principal component analysis with direct oblimin rotation performed with the data from the first survey produced the following five factors: facilitation of interpersonal skills; doubts about the importance of CS learning in medicine; motivation; negative attitudes towards assessment, and overconfidence.

Results: from the second survey indicated that facilitation and importance within a medical context were two core attitudinal factors and suggested some modification to the CSAS to improve its fit for Korean pre-medical and medical students.

Conclusions: Using a Korean version of the CSAS (CSAS-K), we determined five factors that revealed a somewhat complex attitude structure among students towards CS learning. The CSAS required some modification, possibly because CS teaching and learning in Korea are in the development stage. Finally, the educational implications of the results are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Communication*
  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Education, Premedical / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Young Adult