Background: Clinical communication impacts on physiotherapy treatment outcome and its competence warrants being assessed during training for physiotherapists given the increasing need to improve patient outcomes.
Objective: This study aimed to investigate the assessment of clinical communication in entry-level physiotherapy programs in Nigeria.
Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, questionnaires were sent by e-mail or hand-delivered to the heads of physiotherapy programs, asking them to consult with faculty members involved in the assessment of clinical communication in undergraduate education.
Results: Six of seven physiotherapy programs responded (an 86% response rate). Assessment of clinical communication and methods of assessing clinical communication by the programs showed wide variation. There was an average of two assessments per year. The objective structured clinical examination with patients (21; 38%) and written communications (report/chart) (13; 23%) were the most commonly used assessment methods. Perceived challenges included a lack of facilities, validity, inexperienced examiners, and difficulties in integrating processes and content.
Conclusion: A variety of assessment methods are being used in entry-level physiotherapy programs in Nigeria, which target different components of clinical communication skills acquisition. More effort is needed to improve limited facilities and human resources training to enhance clinical communication assessment in Nigerian physiotherapy programs.
- interpersonal skills
- clinical competence
- patient care communication
- physiotherapist-patient communication