Communication Skills Assessed at OSCE Are Not Affected by Participation in the Adolescent Healthy Sexuality Program
Medical Education Online
Purpose: We proposed that first year medical students who voluntarily participated in the Healthy Sexuality adolescent program would perform better than their peers on an adolescent counseling station at the year-end OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination). In addition we compared medical students’ communication skills at the time of the program as assessed by self, peers and participating adolescents.
Methods: Nineteen first year medical students voluntarily participated in the ongoing Healthy Sexuality program. Adolescent participants, medical student peer participants and medical students assessed communication comp onents on a 7-point Likert scale at the end of the program. At the year-end OSCE, all first year medical students at the University of Western Ontario were assessed at an adolescent counseling station by a standardized patient (SP) and a physician exa miner. Statistical analysis examined differences between the two groups.
Results: Students who participated in the Healthy Sexuality program did not perform better than their colleagues on the year-end OSCE. A statistically significant correlation between physician examiner and SP evaluations was found (r = 0.62). Adolescent participants communication skills assessments in the Healthy Sexuality Program demonstrated no significant correlation with medical student assessments (self or peer).
Conclusions: Voluntary intervention with adolescents did not result in improved communication skills at the structured year-end examination. Further investigation will be directed towards delineating differences between SP and physician examiner assessments.