Vocational trainees views and experiences regarding the learning and teaching of communication skills in general practice
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Patient education and counseling. - Limerick, 1983, currens
, p. 65-71
University of Antwerp
Objective To explore the views and experiences of general practice (GP) vocational trainees regarding communication skills (CS) and the teaching and learning of these skills. Methods A purposive sample of second and third (final) year GP trainees took part in six focus group (FG) discussions. Transcripts were coded and analysed in accordance with a grounded theory approach by two investigators using Alas-ti software. Finally results were triangulated by means of semi-structured telephone interviews. Results The analysis led to three thematic clusters: (1) trainees acknowledge the essential importance of communication skills and identified contextual factors influencing the learning and application of these skills; (2) trainees identified preferences for learning and receiving feedback on their communication skills; and (3) trainees perceived that the assessment of communication skills is subjective. These themes are organised into a framework for a better understanding of trainees communication skills as part of their vocational training. Conclusions The framework helps in leading to a better understanding of the way in which trainees learn and apply communication skills. Practice implications The unique context of vocational training should be taken into account when trainees communication skills are assessed. The teaching and learning should be guided by a learner-centred approach. The framework is valuable for informing curricular reform and future research.