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An Exploration of Active Listening Skills in Medical Doctors
An exploratory study was conducted to assess the active listening skills of medical doctors working in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. One hundred and fifty three medical doctors were included in the study. Self perception of their active listening skills was first recorded, followed by a standard listening skills test developed by Kentucky University. After the test, the participants were exposed to a listening skills workshop developed by the Nanzan University, Japan, and retested by the Kentucky Comprehensive Listening Test. The data were collected and analysed. The results revealed that 68.0% of medical doctors had a high level of self perception. The actual scores in the pre intervention listening skills test showed 56.9% of the medical doctors to possess high listening skills. After the listening skills workshop, the number of medical doctors having high level of listening skills rose to 59.5%. A strong association was found between self perception and ethnicity and type of practice of the medical doctors. Similarly strong association was witnessed between the actual active listening of medical doctors and many of the independent variables. The Short Term Listening improved from 59.5% to 62.7%, and Short Term Listening with Rehearsal from 56.9% to 63.4% after the intervention. However, Short Term Listening with Distraction decreased from 55.6% to 51.6%, and Listening with Comprehension from 58.8% to 55.6% in the post intervention case. Strong association was visible between the components of listening test and the many of the independent variables. In light of the findings of the study, it is recommended that medical doctors need to improve their communication skills especially active listening skills. This requires incorporation of active listening skills training in their curriculum.