Pediatrics & Therapeutics

Pediatrics & Therapeutics
Open Access

ISSN: 2161-0665

+44 1478 350008


Improving Medical Student's Confidence Regarding Adolescent Interviewing

Meghan Macdonald, Jillian MacCuspie, Karen Mann and Kim Blake

Background: The adolescent interview is a challenging task in which many medical students and residents report low levels of confidence.

Purpose: To explore whether receiving structured feedback from an adolescent and mother Standardized Patient pair improves medical students’ confidence regarding the adolescent interview. Methods: Medical students undergoing their core Pediatric Clerkship Rotation were asked to rate their confidence involving basic psychosocial communication and key medical components of adolescent interviewing on a 13-item confidence questionnaire. Students were then randomized to receive structured feedback (n=25) on adolescent interviewing skills from an SP pair, or to receive no structured feedback (n=20). Students also ranked six self-perceived learning needs. Four weeks later students underwent a second SP interview and completed the 13-item confidence questionnaire. All students then received feedback from the SP pair. Results: Students who received structured feedback had greater confidence scores in their adolescent interviewing skills when compared to students who received no structured feedback. This difference was statistically significant in the areas of ‘Physical Exam’ (p=0.001) and ‘Sexual Issues’ (p=0.023). The six ranked self-perceived learning needs indicated that students felt least prepared for ‘Sexuality Questioning’ (contraception, sex) and ‘Preventative Health Care’ (injuries, sexually transmitted infections). Conclusion: Structured feedback from an adolescent and mother standardized patient pair was shown to be a useful tool in training medical students for the adolescent interview particularly on the topics of ‘Physical Exam’ and ‘Sexuality Questioning’. This study also highlighted important areas of the adolescent interview that required further training, such as ‘Sexuality Questioning’ and ‘Preventative Health Care.