Existing instruments for assessing physician communication skills: Are they valid in a computerized setting?

Shiri Assis-Hassid, Tsipi Heart, Iris Reychav, Joseph S. Pliskin, Shmuel Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aims to highlight the differences in physicians' scores on two communication assessment tools: the SEGUE and an EMR-specific communication skills checklist. The first tool ignores the presence of the EMR in the exam room and the second, though not formally validated, rather focuses on it. Methods: We use the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test to compare physicians' scores on each of the tools during 16 simulated medical encounters that were rated by two different raters. Results: Results show a significant difference between physicians' scores on each tool (z= -3.519, p< 0.05 for the first rater, and z= -3.521, p< 0.05 for the second rater), while scores on the EMR-specific communication skills checklist were significantly and consistently lower. Conclusion: These results imply that current communication assessment tools that do not incorporate items that are relevant for communication tasks during EMR use may produce inaccurate results. Practice implications: We therefore suggest that a new instrument, possibly an extension of existing ones, should be developed and empirically validated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-366
Number of pages4
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Communication skills
  • Communication task
  • EMR
  • Electronic medical records
  • Patient-doctor communication
  • Primary care


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