Communication styles of undergraduate health students
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Background Few empirical studies have been undertaken on the communication styles of specific health-related disciplines. The objective of this study is to identify the communication styles of undergraduate health students at an Australian university. Methods A cross-sectional study using a paper-based version of the Communicator Style Measure (CSM) was administered to a cohort of students enrolled in eight different undergraduate health-related courses. There were 1459 health students eligible for inclusion in the study. Results 860 students (response rate of 59%) participated in the study. Participants overall preferred the Friendly and Attentive communicator styles and gave least preference to the Contentious and Dominant styles. There was considerable similarity between participants from each of the health-related courses. There was no statistical difference in relation to communicator styles between the age of the participant or the year level they were enrolled in. Conclusion These results show a preference for communicator styles which are facilitative of a client-centred approach, empathetic, and positive with interpersonal relationships. The lack of significant difference in communicator styles by year level further suggests that people disposed to such communicator styles are drawn to these health-related courses, rather than the specific field of study affecting their style.
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