Portions of the results reported in this paper were presented at the 2004 and 2006 Annual Scientific Meetings of the American Geriatrics Society, Las Vegas, Nevada, May 18, 2004, and Chicago, IL, May 4, 2006.
Development of a Standardized Patient Instructor to Teach Functional Assessment and Communication Skills to Medical Students and House Officers
Article first published online: 26 JUL 2006
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 54, Issue 9, pages 1447–1452, September 2006
How to Cite
Williams, B. C., Hall, K. E., Supiano, M. A., Fitzgerald, J. T. and Halter, J. B. (2006), Development of a Standardized Patient Instructor to Teach Functional Assessment and Communication Skills to Medical Students and House Officers. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 54: 1447–1452. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00857.x
- Issue published online: 7 SEP 2006
- Article first published online: 26 JUL 2006
- geriatric assessment;
- medical education;
- standardized patient;
- functional assessment;
- older patient
Professional societies have called for increased geriatrics training for all medical students and physicians.
A Geriatrics Standardized Patient Instructor (GSPI) was developed in which learners assess the functional status of a patient preparing for hospital discharge. Standardized patients (SPs) rate learners on functional assessment and communication skills, and provide feedback.
Seventeen SPs were trained. Correlations of ratings by SPs with ratings by three geriatricians of videotaped encounters indicated good reliability (correlation coefficient=0.69 and 0.70 for functional assessment and communication skills, respectively). Results from two learner groups illustrated the utility and feasibility of the GSPI. First, 138 house officers in nine specialties experienced the GSPI as a formative evaluation during implementation of new geriatrics curricula. Mean scores±standard deviation (on a 100-point scale) for functional assessment and communication skills were 78±16 and 86±11, respectively. House officers rated the overall experience positively (mean rating (1=poor, 5=excellent) 3.9±0.8). Second, 171 first-year medical students (M1 s) encountered the GSPI as part of an intense, multimodal educational intervention. Mean scores on functional assessment and communication skills were 93±10 and 93±7, respectively. Mean overall rating of the experience by M1 s was 4.1±0.8.
After demonstrated success as a teaching tool in these two groups of learners, the GSPI has been successfully used with second- and third-year (M3) medical students and house officers from a total of 12 specialties and incorporated into multistation Objective Standardized Clinical Examination exercises for incoming house officers and M3 s.
Unlike existing diagnosis-oriented SPs, the GSPI can be used to assess and teach geriatrics skills to physician learners across disciplines and levels of training.