Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2005 North Carolina Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Reliability of the Structured Communication Adolescent Guide (SCAG)


 Blake K; Kutcher M; Murphy J; Wakefield S; Mann Karen. Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada

 Introduction: The structured communication adolescent guide (SCAG) is a tool for adolescent patients to provide feedback to medical students on their psychosocial interviewing1. The SCAG has undergone rigorous psychometric evaluation and as a result has been modified over the last 5 years2.

Purpose: To determine the inter-rater reliability of the SCAG with trained male and female adolescent raters.

Method: Adolescents (4 male, 4 female) were trained to use the SCAG until 80% agreement was achieved. The adolescents each viewed 38-videotaped interviews, 40 minutes in length. The interview was an adolescent female standardized patient (SP) being seen for attention deficit disorder requiring a repeat prescription. The interviewers were medical students, residents, GPs or pediatricians.

Analysis: To assess inter-rater reliability, interclass correlation coefficients were calculated for each of the 29 checklist items as well as for the 4 General Ratings sections of the SCAG.


SCAG Section N = Number of Items Mean ICC Value Standard Deviation Maximum, Range
1 3 0.701 0.314 0.957, 0.606
2 5 0.531 0.253 0.968, 0.649
3 17 0.902 0.115 0.970, 0.466
4 4 0.783 0.234 0.982, 0.531
General Ratings 4 0.756 0.756 0.942, 0.315

Conclusion: This study adds to the psychometric properties of the SCAG supporting a higher reliability within a population of male and female adolescent scorers who have been trained to use the SCAG. This instrument can be used reliably in a medical school setting for adolescents to score our medical students.