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What is the evidence for the use of simulation training to teach communication skills in psychiatry?
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  • Published on:
    Simulation training to teach medical students skills in a psychosocial intervention for alcohol related harm.
    • Sol Jaworowski, Psychiatrist Shaare Zedek Medical Centre
    • Other Contributors:
      • Cornelius Gropp, Psychiatrist
      • Moria Malka, Psychiatrist

    We applaud the article by Dr Neale (1) which highlights the importance of simulation training to teach communication skills in psychiatry. However, there was no reference to the role of simulation training in teaching medical students skills in addictive medicine.
    As a result of an increase in alcohol related harm in Israel over the last 20 years (2) and recommendations (3) for controlled and replicable studies in undergraduate medical education in alcohol and substance abuse, we studied the impact of a short term intervention on the knowledge of psychiatric aspects of alcohol amongst 4th and 5th year medical students (4). The intervention consisted of a powerpoint lecture on alcohol related harm to small groups of students, followed immediately by an active member of an alcoholics anonymous group wherever possible relating his story to the material in the lecture. After 2 weeks the same group of students participated in a structured simulation of a family doctor interviewing a female adolescent because of a concern that she suffered from alcohol related harm.
    The students who did not participate directly in the simulation were asked to provide constructive feedback to the student who simulated the primary care physician along the lines of motivational interviewing (Engaging the patient, Focussing on the goals of the meeting, Evoking "change talk" by the patient as a way of introducing behavioural change and Closure of the meeting while maintaining...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.