1 Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

2 2 Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

3 Department of Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India,

4 4 Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India,

5 5 Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

6 Department of Emergency Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India,

7 Department of Surgical Disciplines, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India,

8 Department of Geriatric Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India


BACKGROUND: The study was conducted to assess the different components of communication
skills and barriers to practicing good communication skills among resident doctors in a health care
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A web‑based cross‑sectional survey was performed, and data
were collected using a pre‑validated questionnaire with a Cronbach’s alpha (0.88). A total of 431
responses were statistically analyzed. Chi‑square test was used to associate the socio‑demographics
and communication skills. Regression analysis was conducted to analyze the association between
various communication domains and barriers, which were adjusted for potential confounders such
as age and gender.
RESULTS: Resident doctors have differential levels of competencies in each domain of communication
skills. Around two‑thirds of the residents did not practice good communication skills while breaking
the bad news and reported poor para‑verbal skills. Some of the most common barriers to practicing
good communication skills were found to be an infrastructural deficit, lack of time, and long working
hours. These barriers significantly affected the communication skills such as para‑verbal skills {[‑0.32;
P < 0.01; C.I (‑0.54 to ‑0.09), [‑0.27, P < 0.05, C.I (‑0.54 to. 004)], [‑0.32, P < 0.01, (0.07–0.56)]}, the
ability to break bad news {[‑0.42, P < 0.01, (‑0.73 to ‑0.11)], [‑0.35, P < 0.05, (‑0.75 to ‑0.35)], [0.48,
P < 0.01, (0.12–0.84)]}, and communication with patients/attendants {[0.39, P < 0.01, C.I (‑0.71
to ‑0.06)], [‑0.88, P < 0.001, C.I (‑1.2 to ‑0.48)], [‑0.88, P < 0.001, C.I (‑1.2 to ‑0.48)]} after adjustment
for confounding such as age and gender.
CONCLUSION: There is a scope for improvement in practicing good communication skills with
patients, among the residents doctors in India. Structured modules for training and evaluation should
be implemented in the medical curriculum.


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