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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 264-269

Listening between the Lines: Introduction of a Module for Teaching Nonverbal Communication Skills to MBBS Students

1 Department of Microbiology, Janakpuri Super Speciality Hospital Society, Bathinda, Punjab, India
2 Department of General Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda, Punjab, India
3 Department of General Medicine, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Anatomy, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
5 Department of Paediatrics, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
6 Department of Pathology, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Niket Verma
Department of General Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda - 151 001, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_112_21

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Background and Aim: Establishing good communication with patients is an essential component of good doctor–patient relationships and has a positive impact on health outcomes. A vital component of communication is nonverbal communication (NVC). NVC may reinforce or contradict our verbal comments, thereby altering the meaning of a message and its outcomes. Hence, it is imperative that medical students are made aware of NVC. The present study was undertaken to develop and implement a module for NVC skills and assess the perception of students and faculty. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted with students of 2nd professional MBBS. Participation was voluntary and approval was taken from the institutional ethical committee. All the contents of the module were jointly developed by the core faculty members. The module was conducted across three sessions and included role plays, exposure to simulated patients, an interactive lecture, and a focused small-group discussion. Feedback was obtained from students and faculty facilitators after conclusion of the third session. Results: Fifty-two students and seven faculty facilitators participated in the study. Fifty students (96%) agreed that the module was helpful in improving their NVC skills. All 52 students (100%) agreed that they felt more confident interacting with patients after attending the sessions. Forty-four students (84.6%) strongly agreed that they would attend such sessions in future also. The suitability of the module as a whole for inclusion in the curriculum was endorsed by all participants (100%). The faculty members felt that the most encouraging aspects of the module were its implementation in a nonthreatening environment, maintaining privacy during interactions with simulated patients, and self-assessment of the interaction. Conclusion: With regard to the feasibility and acceptability of the module, 100% of the participants and faculty facilitators agreed that the module should be included in the undergraduate curriculum.

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