An Instrument to measure dental students' communication skills with patients in six specific circumstances: An exploratory factor analysis

Joanna A. Aalboe, Mitzi M. Schumacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the internal structure of an instrument assessing dental students' confidence in their ability to communicate with patients in six specific circumstances (anxious, in pain, etc.) using exploratory factor analysis. In a Communication in the Dental Health Care Setting course at a U.S. dental school, second-year dental students in two years (2013 and 2014) responded to the six items on a survey instrument. Of the total 123 students, 122 fully completed the instrument, for a response rate of 99%. Analysis of the results identified a unidimensional scale with regards to patient-specific communication self-efficacy and explained 74% of the total variance. The scale had good internal consistency reflected by high Cronbach's alpha (α=0.929, 95% CI [0.907, 0.947]). These findings suggest the instrument may be a useful tool in assessing the development of patient communication skills in second-year dental students following a course in communication. Further exploration utilizing confirmatory analysis, determining predictive validity, and assessing convergent and discriminant evidence is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Volume80
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Michael D. Toland, PhD, from the University of Kentucky for being an integral part of the process by providing guidance in psychometric methods.

Keywords

  • Attitude of health personnel
  • Communication
  • Dental education
  • Dentist-patient relations
  • Patient care management
  • Psychometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry

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