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Objective: Communication Skills via Health Literacy (CSvHL) was a pilot elective communication skills training (CST) course, which allowed preclinical medical students to gain communication competence through the experience of being a health educator for high school students (HSSs). The efficacy of CSvHL was explored.
Materials and Methods: All 10 medical students were prepared for their HSS-health-educator roles by participating in several observation sessions at an outpatient department and via communication workshops. In-field health education courses were subsequently delivered to HSSs by the medical students. Developments of the medical students’ communication skills were fostered through loops of learning activities and regular feedbacks. Assessments of the pre- and post-CSvHL communication skill levels by means of an OSCE, with adapted ComON Check were evaluated by each medical student, a standardized patient, and three medical instructors.
Results: In general, the overall and category-specific average ComON Check scores of the whole class were significantly improved after the CSvHL course. The 3 communication defects with the lowest scores in the pre-CSvHL assessments were subsection division, summarization, and comprehension-check while counseling.
Conclusion: CSvHL was successfully established as a preclinical-year CST course. The improvements in the ComON Check scores reflected the transformative learning gained from the hands-on experience, individualized CST, and 360° feedback OSCE for communication skill assessment.
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