Residency training programs are required to assess and document residents’ competency in communication. Multisource evaluations that include direct resident observations are preferred. Previous studies have often used methods of asking faculty members to evaluate residents on behaviors they did not witness.
Twenty first year pediatric residents (interns) were evaluated preand post-FCR introduction by a faculty member, a parent, and a nurse after the encounter with the patients and their families during rounds. All participants used the CAT. Mean CAT scores and associations between the evaluator groups were determined.
Nurses and faculty were significantly more likely to observe how interns communicated with the parents in the post-FCR period (P < .001). Pre-FCR, compared to parent scores, intern scores were significantly lower (P < .05) and the scores were not correlated (P = .84). Post-FCR, the difference in internparent scores disappeared and their scores were significantly correlated (r18 = 0.73, P < .001). Intern scores did not correlate with faculty and nurse scores. Cronbach a coefficients for the CAT ranged from 0.90 to 0.99.
Family-centered rounds provide more opportunities for direct observation of residents’ competence in accordance with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education guidelines. This rounds format also encourages a climate that improves residents’ ability to self-assess. Residents’ communication skills can be assessed by using the Communication Assessment Tool in an efficient and timely manner, because all evaluators are present at the bedside during family-centered rounds.