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    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Patient Education and Counseling. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Patient Education and Counseling, 99, 11, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2016.05.019

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Attachment styles and clinical communication performance in trainee doctors

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Patient Education and Counseling
Issue number11
Volume99
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)1852-1857
Publication statusPublished
Early online date28/05/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the relationship between trainee doctors’ attachment style and their performance in qualifying clinical and communication skills assessments.

Methods

Participants were 190 undergraduate medical students whose performance was assessed by examiners across two areas (communication and clinical skills) during their qualifying Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Simulated patients also rated communication skills. Participants’ attachment style was rated across two dimensions, avoidance and anxiety, with the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ).

Results

Lower levels of attachment avoidance and anxiety were significant predictors of higher performance in both communication and clinical skills.

Conclusion

Trainee doctors’ attachment styles are associated with patient communication and clinical performance. Further research is needed to investigate the impact of attachment on consultations between doctors and patients within clinical settings.

Practice implication

Attachment theory can inform our understanding why, for some student doctors, interacting with patients may be particularly challenging and require additional support by medical educators.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Patient Education and Counseling. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Patient Education and Counseling, 99, 11, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2016.05.019