Assessment of Readiness of Newly Graduated Health Professionals to Communicate with Patients in Duhok, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Sirwan M. Aswad, Samim A. Al-Dabbagh, Saad Y. Agha, Ghanim Y. Alsheikh


Communication Skills (CS) are essential to health workforce to conduct effective professional-patient interaction. In Iraq, majority of newly graduated health professionals are engaged in provision of direct health services. However, undergraduate curricula preparing these professionals include no distinct component to train them on CS. This study aims at assessing the status of CS among Health Professions Education (HPE) graduates of University of Duhok (UoD) and estimating the perception of their patients toward those skills. This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2014. Data on communication skills was obtained, from samples of different health professionals which included: medical doctors (junior residents, nurses, dentists and pharmacists) who recently graduated from different colleges at the UoD. Also, data from was obtained, their patients, to assess their satisfaction of the professionals’ CS. For assessing core CS, a specially designed checklist was adopted from Calgary-Cambridge Guide. Also, senior clinicians were asked on CS performed by their junior residents. Results show that 88% of the senior academic staff regarded CS as “highly essential” and 66% of them were not satisfied with interns’ conduct and suggested that CS should clearly be included in the medical curricula. The basic CS were perceived by patients as either not practiced or wrongly practiced. Patients were unsatisfied with the CS of their attending HPs during observed consultation sessions. The study shows obvious lack of CS among HPE graduates of UoD with patients’ dissatisfaction of their CSs. It seems legitimate to propose that relevant training elements to be designed and incorporated within training modules are needed to realize as a core element of the curriculum of all HPE colleges at the UoD.

Keywords: Communication, skills, perception, graduates, Kurdistan-Iraq.

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/73-02

Publication date: April 30th 2020

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