Development and evaluation of a risk communication curriculum for medical students
SourcePatient Education and Counseling, 94, 1, (2014), pp. 43-49
Article / Letter to editor
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Patient Education and Counseling
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVE: To develop, pilot, and evaluate a curriculum for teaching clinical risk communication skills to medical students. METHODS: A new experience-based curriculum, "Risk Talk," was developed and piloted over a 1-year period among students at Tufts University School of Medicine. An experimental study of 2nd-year students exposed vs. unexposed to the curriculum was conducted to evaluate the curriculum's efficacy. Primary outcome measures were students' objective (observed) and subjective (self-reported) risk communication competence; the latter was assessed using an Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) employing new measures. RESULTS: Twenty-eight 2nd-year students completed the curriculum, and exhibited significantly greater (p<.001) objective and subjective risk communication competence than a convenience sample of 24 unexposed students. New observational measures of objective competence in risk communication showed promising evidence of reliability and validity. The curriculum was resource-intensive. CONCLUSION: The new experience-based clinical risk communication curriculum was efficacious, although resource-intensive. More work is needed to develop the feasibility of curriculum delivery, and to improve the measurement of competence in clinical risk communication. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Risk communication is an important advanced communication skill, and the Risk Talk curriculum provides a model educational intervention and new assessment tools to guide future efforts to teach and evaluate this skill.
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