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The Use of Standardized Patients to Teach Low-literacy Communication Skills

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Objective : To describe methods for incorporating standardized patients into health literacy training programs.

Methods : We discuss aspects of program development that are relatively unique to this educational context.

Results : Individuals were recruited to play the role of an average adult with limited health literacy. Methods of recruitment, training, and scenario development are discussed in detail.

Conclusions : Standardized patients can be valuable partners for teaching about low-literacy communication skills. Because of shared experiences, both actors and nonactors can effectively play a character with low health literacy.

Keywords: health literacy; medical education; physician-patient communication; standardized patients

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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