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Effectiveness of a training program on the role recognition and case portrayal of standardized patients

Sheng‑Po Kaoa, b, Tsung‑Ying Chena, b, Mei‑Lin Hsiehc*

aDepartment of Medical Education, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan, bSchool of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan, cDepartment of Nursing, Tzu Chi University, Hualien Taiwan


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Open Access funded by Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation



Objective: Standardized patient (SP) scenarios could provide medical situations of high fidelity for teaching or examinations, which would otherwise be difficult with real patients. Moreover, SPs can also be used to reliably evaluate or certify the competence of medical trainees. Since the interactions between examinee and SP are dynamic and complex, SPs need to portray the case reliably and consistently across different examinees. Thus, we developed a 1‑day program for newly recruited SPs to teach basic competence in case portrayal. The purpose of this study is to assure the effectiveness of this training program in role recognition as a SP and case portrayal. Materials and Methods: A total of 80 SPs were recruited from 2010 to 2013. They were asked to complete questionnaires before and after the training program using a five‑point, Likert‑type scale (1 – strongly disagree and 5 – strongly agree). The questionnaire comprised 16 items covering SP characteristics, role recognition, and case portrayal. The results were analyzed using PASW Statistics 18, paired t‑test, to determine the effectiveness of the training program. Results: A total of 78 questionnaires were collected for a response rate of 97.5%. The mean age of the SPs was 50.2 ± 7.9 (25–68) years. Most SPs showed improvement in role recognition. In the domain of case portrayal, three of nine items (consistency, obedience, and commitment) showed significant difference (P<0.05). Conclusions: This study suggests that this program is useful for reinforcing role recognition in newly recruited SPs. With respect to case portrayal, only consistency, obedience, and commitment were improved.

Keywords: Case portrayal, Role recognition, Standardized patientpatient

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