Educational benefits of engaging simulated patients for interviewing by medical students in undergraduate Adolescent Medicine posting, at NDUM, Malaysia (Published 2015)
Apr 06, 2016
Aye S, Mohd. Noor M. A and Suleiman A
This article highlights an innovative program where adolescent aged simulated patients were engaged for interview by undergraduate medical students in Paediatric clinical postings. This allowed students to encounter some of the psychosocial problems commonly seen in adolescents.
Introduction: An innovative program of engaging adolescent aged simulated patients in Adolescent Medicine posting had been implemented. This paper is to add on, our experiences to the scarce data on simulated patients (SPs) and acquiring interviewing skills, especially in the field of undergraduate adolescent medicine curriculum in Malaysia.
Objective: To evaluate the educational benefits of engaging simulated patients for interviewing by Year 3 medical students at National Defence University of Malaysia (NDUM).
Outcomes measures:Consist of, Self-rated knowledge; Interviewing skills; Performance & Professionalism at interview; in the students and Performance of SPs at interview.
Methodology: Forty-four third year medical students participated in a cross-sectional study from September 2013 – May 2014. Firstly, students in peer group pairs underwent the interviewing process at start of respective postings, after a briefing and series of lectures on core Adolescent Health topics. A total of six SPs were recruited for engagement for interviewing by all students in 4 groups in a simulated Adolescent Health Clinic setting. The SPs, students and faculty teachers completed the 3 sets of validated questionnaires after each session respectively. A 4- point Likert’s scale was used to rate the responses. All of the 5 faculty teachers in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine had participated in the program. Outcome measures were analyzed before exposure to and during engagement with SPs.
Result: Forty-four third year medical students, during engagement with SPs sessions category, had significantly improved in their confidence in interviewing/ history taking (p=0.001), performance in doing interview (communication skills) (p=0.0005), in the ability to demonstrate skills in interviewing regarding good attitude and professionalism (p=0.009), and in the ability to detect body cues (p=0.0005) when compared to the ‘pre exposure’ to SPs sessions category..
Conclusion: Engagement with simulated patients have shown to be beneficial for acquiring interviewing skills by students in the adolescent medicine posting. This had enhanced their development of communication skills in their clinical posting.
I found this relatively long paper quite difficult to read and understand. I was unsure if its main purpose was to demonstrate the power of simulated patients in enhancing clinical skill; if it was then I do not feel that it adds to what we already know, although it is useful for internal consumption. I also wondered if it was about using the appropriate simulated patients on specific courses; adolescents on an adolescent health course. If it was this latter approach I think the authors could concentrate more on this area which would have made its more useful paper for others to learn from.