Lifelong Learn. 2020, 10, 275-309

Physicians’ and Patients’ Perceptions of Physicians’ Social Competencies in Gynaecology and Obstetrics

Lenka Emrová

Karlova Univerzita, Filozofická fakulta, Katedra psychologie, Celetná 20, 110 00, Praha 1, Česká republika

Received October 1, 2019
Accepted July 27, 2020

The quality and level of the Czech health-care system is a very current and often discussed topic. The Czech health-care system is considered to be the most advanced health system in the world, on the other hand, the Czech health-care system is often criticized for being more “technological” and “scientifical” and that the psychosocial aspects are neglected. The physicians are expected to have acquired social competencies, but not enough attention is paid to defining and developing them as well as creating conditions for their application. We need to change the curriculum for undergraduate and postgraduate physicians’ psychosocial preparation. Lifelong learning plays a significant role as doctors can get into contact with patients and develop their social competencies only in everyday practice. The research focuses on gynaecological and obstetric specialization where the need of psychosocial approach is considered essential. The purpose of this research was to determine if there exists an agreement between gynaecologists-obstetricians and patients‑women expectations on what behaviour make physicians’ social competent behaviour. The main methods used are three focus groups for six doctors and nine semi‑standardized interviews with expectant mothers. The obtained data were processed using the method of coding and creation of clusters. The results indicate that there is considerable agreement between physicians and patients on the categories of socially-competent behaviour. However, the differences are in the perceived importance of the competencies; the physicians consider intrapersonal competencies to be the most important, while mothers consider interpersonal and communication competencies to be the most important. These results are discussed with respect to the implications for future research of interventions in the field of physicians’ social skills training in formal and informal education. We consider knowledge based directly on the perception of physicians and patients to be valuable because it provides further insight into what is important to include in the education of social competencies.


The study was supported by the Charles University programme Progres Q15 „Life course, lifestyle and quality of life from the perspective of individual adaptation and the relationship of the actors and institutions.“


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