Changes in communication skills of clinical residents through psychiatric training


Motoki Yutani, MA, Department of Psychiatry, Kitasato University East Hospital, 2-1-1, Asamizodai, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0380, Japan, Email:


Aim:  The objective of this study was to clarify whether the communication skills (CS) of clinical residents change before and after psychiatric training and, if so, what factors are related to the change.

Methods:  The 44 clinical residents who agreed to participate in this study were provided with an originally developed self-accomplished questionnaire survey on CS (communication skills questionnaire [CSQ]) and a generally used questionnaire on self-esteem, anxiety, and depressive mood considered to be related to CS at the start and end of a 2-month psychiatric training session. Statistical analysis was conducted for the 34 residents who completed both questionnaires.

Results:  The CSQ score (t[32]: −2.17, P < 0.05) and assertive CS score, a subfactor of the CSQ (t[32]: −2.74, P < 0.01), were improved after the training. The cooperative CS score also tended to increase after the training. The amounts of change in total CS score and cooperative CS score, which increased after the training, correlated positively with self-esteem and negatively with anxiety and depressive tendency. The amount of change in assertive CS score showed a weakly positive correlation with self-esteem.

Conclusions:  The results suggested that CS, including assertive CS and cooperative CS, were improved by the psychiatric training. Increasing self-esteem and reducing the tendency toward depression and anxiety are considered to be useful for further improving CS.