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INTRODUCTION Effective communication is an essential competency for collaborative, interprofessional practice. Listening partnerships (taking turns listening for a specified time) are believed to develop more skillful communication. This pilot study examined the perceived communication abilities among undergraduate health profession students enrolled in a multi-section foundational Introduction to the Health Professions course.

METHODS The research design employed a control group (using the established communication curriculum) and an intervention group (using repeated practice with listening partnerships throughout the duration of the semester). The study compared student perceptions of their own verbal and non-verbal communication abilities before and after enrollment in the course. The study also examined the test-retest reliability of the instrumentation: the Froehlich Communication Survey.

RESULTS Results revealed students reported improved perceptions of their communication abilities after engagement with both the established curriculum as well as the experimental curriculum. An increase in student perception of their ability to listen with compassion was demonstrated only through the interventional curriculum. Statistical analysis revealed good test-retest reliability of the instrument.

CONCLUSION Results suggest that student perceptions of their own verbal and non-verbal communication abilities can be enhanced through intentionality of curriculum and active teaching and learning activities.

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