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Practice Makes Perfect: Objective Structured Clinical Examinations Across the UME-to-GME Continuum Improve Care of Transgender Simulated Patients

Beltran, Christine P.; Wilhite, Jeffrey A.; Hayes, Rachael W.; Loschiavo, Caleb; Crotty, Kelly; Adams, Jennifer; Hauck, Kevin; Crowe, Ruth; Kudlowitz, David; Katz, Karin; Gillespie, Colleen; Zabar, Sondra; Greene, Richard E.
Background Residents lack confidence in caring for transgender individuals. More exposure and practice throughout training is needed. Objective To explore whether and how prior exposure to transgender health skills during medical school impacted competency with these skills during residency. Methods In 2022, all 101 internal medicine residents at New York University Grossman School of Medicine participated in an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) station as part of their annual formative assessment where they cared for a standardized patient (SP) who identified as transgender. Three SPs who were members of the transgender community were recruited through online and social media forums. Two resident groups (continuum vs noncontinuum) differed in their prior experiences with transgender OSCEs during medical school. We analyzed SPs"™ ratings of resident performance using checklist data and SP open-ended feedback to compare performance between groups and resident post-OSCE evaluations to understand residents"™ perceptions of the educational value of the case. Results Residents with prior experience with transgender SPs (continuum) were more frequently recommended by SPs (88% [21 of 24] vs 70% [54 of 77]) to a family member or friend, were all rated professional (100% [24 of 24] vs 94% [72 of 94]) and scored better in pain information-gathering (92% vs 65%, mean summary score) and gender-affirming care skills (67% vs 52%, mean summary score). Noncontinuum residents lacked experience, missed opportunities to ask about gender identity, and needed work on demonstrating comfort and using proper language. Most residents completing a post-OSCE evaluation (80%, 41 of 51) rated the case as "very valuable." Conclusions Spaced practice and feedback through early exposure to transgender OSCEs were valuable for skill acquisition, giving continuum residents a learning advantage compared to noncontinuum residents.
ISSN: 1949-8349
CID: 5660082

The Positive Approach to the Psychiatric Assessment: A Randomized Trial of a Novel Interviewing Technique

Schlechter, Alan; Moerdler-Green, Michael; Zabar, Sondra; Reliford, Aaron; New, Antonia; Feingold, Jordyn H; Guo, Fei; Horwitz, Sarah
OBJECTIVE:This pilot study compared a novel communication strategy, the positive approach to the psychiatric interview, with the traditional approach to see if the positive approach can be taught to psychiatric residents; reproduced with standardized patients; measured with a structured scale, the "Positive Approach Outcome Measure," by blinded raters; and used to improve rapport (assessed with the Bond score), a key driver of engagement. METHODS:Thirty psychiatric residents were randomly assigned to conduct two psychiatric interviews with standardized patients. The standardized patients completed the Working Alliance Inventory-Short Revised, an assessment of the therapeutic alliance. T tests and linear regression examined the effect of the training on the outcome of interest, the Bond score. RESULTS:The Bond scores for the positive approach group (M = 19.27, SD = 2.87) and the traditional approach group (M = 16.90, SD = 3.44) were statistically significantly different (p = 0.05). All residents trained in the positive approach received a positive score on the Positive Approach Outcome Measure while none of the traditional approach-trained residents attained the threshold. The inter-rater reliability for the blinded raters was high (0.857), as was the intra-rater reliability (1.0). CONCLUSIONS:The positive approach can be taught to residents and reproduced consistently and was associated with improvement in a key driver of treatment engagement: rapport. The positive approach may be an important, inexpensive intervention to improve treatment engagement and ultimately treatment outcomes.
PMID: 37651038
ISSN: 1545-7230
CID: 5618362

Bridging the Gap from Student to Doctor: Developing Coaches for the Transition to Residency

Winkel, Abigail Ford; Gillespie, Colleen; Park, Agnes; Branzetti, Jeremy; Cocks, Patrick; Greene, Richard E; Zabar, Sondra; Triola, Marc
BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:A lack of educational continuity creates disorienting friction at the onset of residency. Few programs have harnessed the benefits of coaching, which can facilitate self-directed learning, competency development, and professional identity formation, to help ease this transition. OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:To describe the process of training faculty Bridge Coaches for the Transition to Residency Advantage (TRA) program for interns. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:Nineteen graduate faculty educators participated in a coaching training course with formative skills assessment as part of a faculty development program starting in January 2020. Surveys (n = 15; 79%) and a focus group (n = 7; 37%) were conducted to explore the perceived impact of the training course on coaching skills, perceptions of coaching, and further program needs during the pilot year of the TRA program. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Faculty had strong skills around establishing trust, authentic listening, and supporting goal-setting. They required more practice around guiding self-discovery and following a coachee-led agenda. Faculty found the training course to be helpful for developing coaching skills. Faculty embraced their new roles as coaches and appreciated having a community of practice with other coaches. Suggestions for improvement included more opportunities to practice and receive feedback on skills and additional structures to further support TRA program encounters with coaches. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:The faculty development program was feasible and had good acceptance among participants. Faculty were well-suited to serve as coaches and valued the coaching mindset. Adequate skills reinforcement and program structure were identified as needs to facilitate a coaching program in graduate medical education.
PMID: 36351566
ISSN: 1087-2981
CID: 5357372

Addressing social determinants of health in primary care: a quasi-experimental study using unannounced standardised patients to evaluate the impact of audit/feedback on physicians' rates of identifying and responding to social needs

Gillespie, Colleen; Wilhite, Jeffrey A; Hanley, Kathleen; Hardowar, Khemraj; Altshuler, Lisa; Fisher, Harriet; Porter, Barbara; Wallach, Andrew; Zabar, Sondra
BACKGROUND:Although efforts are underway to address social determinants of health (SDOH), little is known about physicians' SDOH practices despite evidence that failing to fully elicit and respond to social needs can compromise patient safety and undermine both the quality and effectiveness of treatment. In particular, interventions designed to enhance response to social needs have not been assessed using actual practice behaviour. In this study, we evaluate the degree to which providing primary care physicians with feedback on their SDOH practice behaviours is associated with increased rates of eliciting and responding to housing and social isolation needs. METHODS:Unannounced standardised patients (USPs), actors trained to consistently portray clinical scenarios, were sent, incognito, to all five primary care teams in an urban, safety-net healthcare system. Scenarios involved common primary care conditions and each included an underlying housing (eg, mould in the apartment, crowding) and social isolation issue and USPs assessed whether the physician fully elicited these needs and if so, whether or not they addressed them. The intervention consisted of providing physicians with audit/feedback reports of their SDOH practices, along with brief written educational material. A prepost comparison group design was used to evaluate the intervention; four teams received the intervention and one team served as a 'proxy' comparison (no intervention). Preintervention (February 2017 to December 2017) rates of screening for and response to the scripted housing and social needs were compared with intervention period (January 2018 to March 2019) rates for both intervention and comparison teams. RESULTS:108 visits were completed preintervention and 183 during the intervention period. Overall, social needs were not elicited half of the time and fully addressed even less frequently. Rates of identifying the housing issue increased for teams that received audit/feedback reports (46%-60%; p=0.045) and declined for the proxy comparison (61%-42%; p=0.174). Rates of responding to housing needs increased significantly for intervention teams (15%-41%; p=0.004) but not for the comparison team (21%-29%; p=0.663). Social isolation was identified more frequently postintervention (53%) compared with baseline (39%; p=0.041) among the intervention teams but remained unchanged for the comparison team (39% vs 32%; p=0.601). Full exploration of social isolation remained low for both intervention and comparison teams. CONCLUSIONS:Results suggest that physicians may not be consistently screening for or responding to social needs but that receiving feedback on those practices, along with brief targeted education, can improve rates of SDOH screening and response.
PMID: 35623722
ISSN: 2044-5423
CID: 5284022

Correction: Educational training to improve opioid overdose response among health center staff: a quality improvement initiative

Stephenson, Audrey; Calvo-Friedman, Alessandra; Altshuler, Lisa; Zabar, Sondra; Hanley, Kathleen
PMID: 37533047
ISSN: 1477-7517
CID: 5618962

Implementing an Experiential Telehealth Training and Needs Assessment for Residents and Faculty at a Veterans Affairs Primary Care Clinic [Case Report]

Phillips, Zoe; Wong, Laura; Crotty, Kelly; Horlick, Margaret; Johnston, Rhonda; Altshuler, Lisa; Zabar, Sondra; Jay, Melanie; Dembitzer, Anne
BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:The transition to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a lack of preexisting telehealth training for clinicians. As a workplace-based simulation methodology designed to improve virtual clinical skills, announced standardized patients (ASPs) may help meet evolving educational needs to sustain quality telehealth care. OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:We describe the development and implementation of an ASP program to assess and provide feedback to resident and faculty clinicians in virtual practice, and report on performance, feasibility, and acceptability. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:From June 2021 to April 2022, resident and faculty clinicians at a VA primary care clinic participated in a video visit in which an ASP portrayed either a 70-year-old man with hearing loss and hypertension or a 60-year-old man with hypertension and financial stress. Following the visit, ASPs provided verbal feedback and completed a behaviorally anchored checklist to rate telehealth and communication skills, chronic disease management, and use of resources. Domain summary scores were calculated as the mean percentage of "well done" items. Participants completed a feedback survey on their experience. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Seventy-six televisits (60 primary care residents [postgraduate year 1-3], 16 internal medicine faculty) were conducted from August 2021 to April 2022. Clinicians performed well in communication skills: information gathering (79%, 60 of 76, well done), relationship development (67%, 51 of 76), education and counseling (71%, 54 of 76), and patient satisfaction (86%, 65 of 76). They performed less well in telemedicine skills (38%, 29 of 76). Participants agreed that the experience was a good use of their time (88%, 67 of 76). CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:An ASP-facilitated training for resident and faculty clinicians assessed telehealth skills and clinical practice and identified areas for intervention. Clinicians responded well to the training and feedback.
PMID: 37637347
ISSN: 1949-8357
CID: 5606942

Educational training to improve opioid overdose response among health center staff: a quality improvement initiative

Stephenson, Audrey; Calvo-Friedman, Alessandra; Altshuler, Lisa; Zabar, Sondra; Hanley, Kathleen
BACKGROUND:There were seven opioid overdoses in this New York City (NYC) federally qualified health center from December 2018 through February 2019, reflecting the rising rate of overdose deaths in NYC overall at the time. In response to these overdoses, we sought to increase the readiness of health center staff to recognize and respond to opioid overdoses and decrease stigmatizing attitudes around opioid use disorder (OUD). METHODS:An hour-long training focusing on opioid overdose response was administered to clinical and non-clinical staff of all levels at the health center. This training included didactic education on topics such as the overdose epidemic, stigma around OUD, and opioid overdose response, as well as discussion. A structured assessment was administered immediately before and following the training to evaluate change in knowledge and attitudes. Additionally, participants completed a feedback survey immediately after the training to assess acceptability. Paired t-tests and analysis of variance tests were used to assess changes in pre- and post-test scores. RESULTS:Over 76% of the health center staff participated in the training (N = 310). There were large and significant increases in mean knowledge and attitudinal scores from pre- to post-test (p < .001 and p < .001, respectively). While there was no significant effect of profession on attitudinal change scores, profession did have a significant effect on knowledge change scores, with administrative staff, non-clinical support staff, other healthcare staff, and therapists learning significantly more than providers (p < .001). The training had high acceptability among participants from diverse departments and levels. CONCLUSIONS:An interactive educational training increased staff's knowledge and readiness to respond to an overdose as well as improved attitudes toward individuals living with OUD. TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:This project was undertaken as a quality improvement initiative at the health center and as such was not formally supervised by the Institutional Review Board per their policies. Further, per the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, registration is not necessary for clinical trials whose sole purpose is to assess an intervention's effect on providers.
PMID: 37391790
ISSN: 1477-7517
CID: 5538762

Zoom Objective Structured Clinical Exams: Virtually the same as the real thing?

Desai, Purnahamsi V; Howell, Heather B; McGrath, Meaghan; Ramsey, Rachel; Lebowitz, Jonathan; Trogen, Brit; Cha, Christine; Pierce, Kristyn A; Zabar, Sondra
OBJECTIVE:Objective structured clinical exams (OSCE) are used to train and assess resident foundational family-centered communication skills incorporating key stakeholders. In 2020 encounters were conducted virtually. We sought to compare standardized patient (SP) and family faculty (FF) assessment across OSCE and virtual OSCE (VOSCE) formats. METHODS:The intern classes of 2019 and 2020 completed a live OSCE and VOSCE respectively where they disclosed an error to an SP. The 10 minute encounter was observed by an FF and facilitator followed by a 20 minute debrief. The SP and FF completed a behavioral checklist to evaluate skill mastery. RESULTS:Eighteen (90%) of the 20 interns completed the encounter each year. Total mastery scores were significantly higher for SP assessment than for FF assessment in both OSCE [68% vs 46% (z=-3.005, p<.05)] and VOSCE formats [68% vs 53% (z=-2.105, p<0.05)]. Total mastery scores of SPs across OSCE and VOSCE formats did not significantly differ, nor did FF scores based on evaluation format. CONCLUSIONS:Our current experience suggests VOSCEs are a viable alternative to in person sessions given the comparable assessment across the two modalities. The ease of participating in virtual sessions may provide a way to more easily partner with key stakeholders.
PMID: 36400337
ISSN: 1876-2867
CID: 5372182

Neurology faculty comfort and experience with communication skills

Zhang, Cen; Kurzweil, Arielle; Pleninger, Perrin; Nelson, Aaron; Gurin, Lindsey; Zabar, Sondra; Galetta, Steven L; Balcer, Laura J; Lewis, Ariane
BACKGROUND:Neurology faculty care for complex patients, teach, and work within multidisciplinary teams. It is imperative for faculty to have strong communication skills. METHODS:We surveyed NYU neurology teaching faculty to determine levels of comfort and experience over the past year with providing negative feedback to a trainee; debriefing after an adverse clinical outcome; and assisting a struggling colleague. We examined the relationship between levels of comfort and experience with 1) faculty self-identified sex and 2) number of years since completion of medical training. RESULTS:The survey was completed by 36/83 teaching neurology faculty (43 %); 17 (47 %) respondents were female and 21 (58 %) were ≤10 years post-training. The proportions of faculty who reported feeling uncomfortable were 44 % (16/36) for assisting a struggling colleague, 28 % (10/36) for providing negative feedback, and 19 % (7/36) for debriefing an adverse outcome. Proportions of faculty who reported they had no experience were 75 % (27/36) for assisting a struggling colleague, 39 % (14/36) for debriefing an adverse clinical event, and 17 % (6/36) for providing negative feedback. Female respondents and faculty who were ≤10 years post-training were more likely to report feeling uncomfortable with assisting a struggling colleague and to have had no experience doing so in the past year. On multivariate analyses accounting for sex and experience, sex remained independently associated with feeling uncomfortable with assisting a struggling colleague (OR = 12.2, 95 % CI: 2.1-69.6, p = 0.005). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Faculty development may be needed to improve comfort and experience with challenging communication-based interactions. Female faculty and faculty early in their careers may benefit most.
PMID: 36642032
ISSN: 1532-2653
CID: 5433622

Comparison of Primary Care Patients"™ and Unannounced Standardized Patients"™ Perceptions of Care

Altshuler, Lisa; Fisher, Harriet; Wilhite, Jeffrey; Phillips, Zoe; Holmes, Isaac; Greene, Richard E.; Wallach, Andrew B.; Smith, Reina; Hanley, Kathleen; Schwartz, Mark D.; Zabar, Sondra
The objective of this study was to compare unannounced standardized patient (USP) and patient reports of care. Patient satisfaction surveys and USP checklist results collected at an urban, public hospital were compared to identify items included in both surveys. Qualitative commentary was reviewed to better understand USP and patient satisfaction survey data. Analyses included χ2 and Mann-Whitney U test. Patients provided significantly higher ratings on 10 of the 11 items when compared to USPs. USPs may provide a more objective perspective on a clinical encounter than a real patient, reinforcing the notion that real patients skew overly positive or negative.
ISSN: 2374-3735
CID: 5446962