Blake K, Kutcher M, Mann K, Murphy J, Wakefield S. Division of Medical Education, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Background: The Structured Communication Adolescent Guide (SCAG) was developed to facilitate standardized patient (SP) feedback to medical students on interviewing ability. The reliability and validity of the SCAG has been documented in populations of medical students and physicians. We have identified specific areas of the guide that required modification. Prior to using the research data to modify the SCAG we invited adolescent input on the language and format of the SCAG.
Purpose: To incorporate the ideas and opinions of adolescents into the process of modifying the SCAG.
Method: Twenty adolescents (ages 13-18) were invited to a focus group. Eighteen adolescents had no prior exposure to the SCAG. The adolescents watched a videotaped adolescent-physician encounter and rated it using the SCAG. The adolescents were then divided into four groups to discuss their experience of using the SCAG with members of the research team.
Results: The feedback provided by adolescents has contributed to the development of the SCAG-II. The overall number of items has been reduced from 56 to 28 and the appearance of the guide has changed following suggestions made by adolescents. Two sections have been combined and the number of global rating sections has decreased to four.
Conclusion: Employing both research results and adolescent feedback was an effective strategy for modifying the SCAG. Studies are underway to assess the reliability and validity of the SCAG-II with untrained adolescents of both sexes. The SCAG-II will be available to physicians at this presentation.