Assessing an Intervention Focused on Enhancing Interpersonal Communication Skills and Humor: A Multi-Method Quasi-Experiential Study Among Medical Students

Orit Karnieli-Miller*, Keren Michael, Oz Segal, Aharon Steinberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Teaching and applying interpersonal communication skills (ICS) and humor in medicine is challenging. The present study assessed an innovative course focused on enhancing ICS and humor based on the Four Habits Model and theater concepts. Medical students enrolled in the course (the study group) were assessed pre- and post-intervention, as well as compared with their peers (the control group) using quantitative methods to measure attitudes, self-efficacy, and behaviors. Qualitative methods were used to learn about students’ change in perceptions related to ICS and humor following the course, as well as their experiences of developing these skills during the course. Post-intervention study group participants scored significantly higher on all ICS measurements and on humor behavior compared with pre-intervention, and significantly higher on all humor measurements compared with control group participants. Interviews indicated students’ increased understanding and difficulties in learning these skills. Analyses showed how framing humor as one possible ICS and focusing on specific parts of the medical encounter can promote patient-centered care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1560-1572
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Communication
Volume33
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Dec 2018

Funding

FundersFunder number
Adelis Foundation
Achelis Foundation
Magi Foundation

    Keywords

    • humor
    • interpersonal communication skills
    • physician-patient relationship

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