ERIC Number: EJ1094989
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Small-Group Standardized Patient Encounter Improves Athletic Training Students' Psychosocial Intervention and Referral Skills
Walker, Stacy E.; Weidner, Thomas G.; Thrasher, Ashley B.
Athletic Training Education Journal, v11 n1 p38-44 Jan-Mar 2016
Context: Athletic trainers provide psychological support, counseling, intervention, and referral to patients during clinical practice. However, students are rarely exposed to real-life opportunities to develop these skills. Objective: To determine if a small-group standardized patient (SP) encounter improved athletic training students' interpersonal communication, psychosocial intervention, and referral skills. Design: Cohort. Setting: One Midwestern university. Patients or Other Participants: Thirty-nine (14 male, 25 female; age = 22 ± 1.0 years) senior athletic training students. Intervention(s): The experimental group (n = 20) engaged in a small-group SP encounter to teach interpersonal communication, psychosocial intervention, and referral skills, in addition to normally scheduled classes and clinical education. The control group (n = 19) engaged only in routine classroom and clinical education. Both groups participated in an individual SP encounter to assess skills. Main Outcome Measure(s): A 19-item dichotomous checklist (yes/no) assessed participants on their interpersonal communication, psychosocial intervention, and referral skills (eg, listened with interest, asked about eating habits and menstrual period) during the individual SP encounter. A Fisher exact test evaluated differences between the experimental and control group scores for each checklist item. Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare combined checklist scores between the experimental and control groups. A Bonferroni correction was performed to control for multiple comparisons. Results: The experimental group experienced a significant increase in psychosocial intervention and referral skills (U = 77.5, P = 0.001), but there was no difference between the 2 groups on interpersonal communication skills (U = 138, P = 0.149). Participants in the experimental group asked the SP about coping strategies for stress more often than the control group (Fisher exact test P < 0.001). Conclusions: A small-group SP encounter improved the participants' psychosocial intervention and referral skills but not their interpersonal communication skills. These results suggest a small-group SP encounter can provide learning experiences to better prepare athletic training students for clinical practice.
Descriptors: Athletics, Allied Health Occupations Education, Small Group Instruction, Clinical Experience, Intervention, Referral, Interpersonal Communication, Skill Development, Instructional Effectiveness, Check Lists, College Seniors, Quasiexperimental Design
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A