RESEARCH PAPER
Professional communication competences of physiotherapists – practice and educational perspectives
 
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1
Department of Health Informatics and Statistics, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland; Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, University of Economics and Innovation, Lublin, Poland
2
Department of Health Informatics and Statistics, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland;Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, University of Economics and Innovation, Lublin, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(1):189–194
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ABSTRACT
Background: Dissonance between the high ‘technical’ competences of medical professionals, including physiotherapists, and the relatively low level of patient satisfaction with care received is a phenomenon observed in many countries. Many studies show that it occurs in the case of an inadequate interpersonal communication between medical professionals and patients. Objectives: The primary goal of the presented research was evaluation of the level (study of the state) of communication competences of physiotherapists, and determination of the factors on which this level depends. An additional goal was analysis of the needs and educational possibilities within the existing models of education in the area of interpersonal communication provided by higher medical education institutions. Design, setting and participants: The self-designed questionnaire and adjective check list were subject to standardization from the aspect of reliability and validity. Information available on the websites of 20 educational facilities in Poland were compared. The study group covered a total number of 115 respondents in the following subgroups: 1) occupationally-active physiotherapists who, as a rule, were not trained in interpersonal communication (35 respondents); students of physiotherapy covered by a standard educational programme (60 respondents); 3) students of physiotherapy who, in addition to a standard educational programme, attended extra courses in professional interpersonal communications (20 respondents). Results: The results of studies indicate poor efficacy of shaping communication competences of physiotherapists based on education in the area of general psychology and general interpersonal communication. Communication competences acquired during undergraduate physiotherapy education are subject to regression during occupational activity.Conclusions: Methods of evaluating communication competences are useful in constructing group and individual programmes focused on specific communication competences, rather than on general communication skills.
 
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