Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate user acceptance, educational potentials and face and con-struct validity of a dedicated Virtual Patient system for refugee trauma cases, designed to enhance clinical, interper-sonal, social and cultural competence.
Methods: We developed a Virtual Patient system portraying a female refugee – mediated by a still image and pre-recorded voice – that was evaluated by an invited group of physicians (n=9) working as residents in Psychiatry (n=8) and General Medicine (n=1). The participants were invited to provide insights/feedback about the system’s usefulness and its educational value.
Results: Scores across our sample were high regarding the Virtual Patient system’s realistic nature (median value: 5 on a 7-point scale) as well as the Virtual Patient’s ability to mirror the course of a real clinical investigation (median value: 6 on a 7-point scale). The system was said to provide a good environment for safe training of clinical and com-municative skills. The system’s face and construct validity were also demonstrated. Proposed future improvements will include the implementation of detailed feedback from a Virtual Advisor and/or the Virtual Patient him/herself, the use of video-simulated patients and the ability to formulate clinical questions in free text.
Conclusions: This dedicated Virtual Patient system was well received by the participants. They appraised it as having a good potential for training in relationship to the clinical encounter and the management of traumatized refugees.
2012. Vol. 3, 132-140 p.