Original Article

Impact of a communication skills training course for students of therapist training schools

Keiko Kanetaka, MS, Yoshimi Suzukamo, PhD, Toshiyuki Kakui, OTR, MS, Akira Michimata, OTR, PhD, Shin-ichi Izumi, MD, PhD
Jpn J Compr Rehabil Sci 4: 47-54, 2013

Purpose: Communication skills are necessary when students of therapist training schools undergo clinical practice. We verified the effects of introducing a course on communication skills training based on coaching theory.
Methods: Second-year students of a vocational college participated in the study. Fourteen students in the occupational therapy department attended a course on communication skills training (CS group) and 21 students in the physiotherapy department did not attend the course (control group). The CS group received 6 classes on communication skills. Assessments by self and others (CS group only) on communication skills, anxiety assessment, and selfefficacy assessment were conducted before the course (T1), two months after T1 (T2), and 3 months after T1 before clinical practice (T3). In the CS group, course evaluation was also conducted at T2.
Results: For course evaluation, all participants selected the top two grades on a five-grade scale for necessity, satisfaction, contents, interest and understanding. For communication skills selfassessment, the scores at T2 and T3 were higher than that at T1 in both groups. For communication skills assessment by others, the score at T3 was higher compared to those at T1 and T2. For anxiety assessment, state anxiety did not change in the CS group, but increased at T3 in the control group.
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that the communication skills training course improves the communication skills of students and eases their state anxiety before clinical practice.

Key words: coaching, communication, clinical practice, education, rehabilitation professions

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