Dental Student to Patient Communication Analysis: A Pilot Study

Kevin Bowles, Harjit S. Sehgal, Lynn Santelmann, Edward P. Pham, Richie Kohli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is very crucial that dental students who comprise our future dental workforce are adequately trained in communication skills. This training is especially important because of the increasing population of English as Second Language (ESL) patients in our community health centers, dental offices, and dental schools. The objective of this exploratory pilot study was to analyze dental student conversations about patient treatment plans to native English and ESL patients. The study recruited four dental students who spoke English as their first language and four patients, two with English as their native language and two with English as their second language from Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry. A Panasonic Palmcorder video camera was used to record the dental student to patient procedural conversations, which were then transcribed. Data analysis included rhetorical analysis to explore the argument structures and conversation analysis to explore the linguistic moves used in treatment plan conversations. The results showed three common errors that dental students made while dealing with ESL patients that did not exist with the native speaking patients: The consistent assumption of patient comprehension, the use of over technical jargon, and a lack of use of multi-mediated forms of communication to bridge communicative barriers. There are obvious skills to be learned by the dental students for communicating treatment plans and dealing with ESL patients. Further research and effective teaching resources are needed to better serve our patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth Communication
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Dental Students
Communication
Students
communication
Language
language
student
conversation
Health
Patient treatment
Dentistry
Video cameras
dentistry
conversation analysis
Linguistics
School Dentistry
health
communication skills
Teaching
Dental Offices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

Cite this

Dental Student to Patient Communication Analysis : A Pilot Study. / Bowles, Kevin; Sehgal, Harjit S.; Santelmann, Lynn; Pham, Edward P.; Kohli, Richie.

In: Health Communication, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bowles, Kevin ; Sehgal, Harjit S. ; Santelmann, Lynn ; Pham, Edward P. ; Kohli, Richie. / Dental Student to Patient Communication Analysis : A Pilot Study. In: Health Communication. 2018.
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