Adolescent Standardized Patients: Method of Selection and Assessment of Benefits and Risks
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BACKGROUND: Our psychiatric Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) group wishes to develop adolescent psychiatry OSCE stations. The literature regarding adolescent standardized patient (SP) selection methods and simulation effects, however, offered limited assurance that such adolescents would not experience adverse simulation effects. PURPOSE: Evaluation of adolescent SP selection methods and simulation effects for low- and high-stress roles. METHOD: A two-component (employment-psychological) SP selection method was used. Carefully selected SPs were assigned across three conditions: low-stress medical role, high-stress psychosocial role, and wait list control. Qualitative and quantitative measures were used to assess simulation effects. RESULTS: Our selection method excluded 21% (7% employment and 14% psychological) of SP applicants. For SP participants, beneficial effects included acquisition of job skills and satisfaction in making an important contribution to society. SP reactions of discomfort to roles were reported. Long-term adverse effects were not identified. CONCLUSIONS: A two-component adolescent SP selection method is recommended. Adolescent SP benefits outweigh risks.
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