Objective: Communication during medical interviews plays a large role in patient adherence, satisfaction with care, and health outcomes. Both verbal and non-verbal communication (NVC) skills are central to the development of rapport between patients and healthcare professionals. The purpose of this study was to assess the role of non-verbal and verbal communication skills on evaluations by standardized patients during an ethnogeriatric Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
Methods: Interviews from 19 medical students, residents, and fellows in an ethnogeriatric OSCE were analyzed. Each interview was videotaped and evaluated on a 14 item verbal and an 8 item non-verbal communication checklist. The relationship between verbal and non-verbal communication skills on interview evaluations by standardized patients were examined using correlational analyses.
Results: Maintaining adequate facial expression (FE), using affirmative gestures (AG), and limiting both unpurposive movements (UM) and hand gestures (HG) had a significant positive effect on perception of interview quality during this OSCE. Non-verbal communication skills played a role in perception of overall interview quality as well as perception of culturally competent communication.
Conclusion: Incorporating formative and summative evaluation of both verbal and non-verbal communication skills may be a critical component of curricular innovations in ethnogeriatrics, such as the OSCE.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.