Communication and social competencies in medical education in German-speaking countries: the Basel consensus statement. Results of a Delphi survey

Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Nov;81(2):259-66. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.01.017. Epub 2010 Mar 12.


Objective: To propose a comprehensive set of competencies and educational objectives for communication and social competencies in undergraduate medical education and to support the nationwide implementation of these issues in all medical schools.

Methods: Thirty experts from different medical and psychosocial disciplines participated in a 2-day workshop using the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) to develop an initial set of educational objectives. These were refined, structured, and rated according to their importance by means of a two-step Delphi Survey involving additional experts in medical education.

Results: The initial workshop resulted in 188 educational objectives assigned to 26 different topics. After the Delphi Survey, 131 objectives remained, assigned to 19 different topics. Some objectives that could be assigned to more than one topic were subsumed under a new more general category.

Conclusion: The described consensus process proved successful as one method to develop a set of educational objectives.

Practical implications: The Basel consensus statement can be used to orientate curriculum reform and development in medical education.

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Communication*
  • Competency-Based Education / organization & administration*
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic*
  • Curriculum
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Development
  • Schools, Medical
  • Switzerland