Effect of Standardized Patients on Pediatric Clinical Confidence in Audiology Students

April 21, 2020

The United States is facing a shortage of trained pediatric audiologists. Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs and doctor of audiology programs are striving to provide evidence-based training for pediatric audiology students through use of trained standardized patients. The purpose of the current project was to measure the effect of standardized patients on audiology students' clinical confidence when delivering difficult news in a pediatric setting.

Doctor of Audiology students enrolled in the Counseling in Audiology course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) participated in simulated role play scenarios with standardized patients. Students acted as an audiologist delivering hearing test results to a parent, who was played by the actor. Standardized patient roles included a tearful mother, disputing father, and a guilty mother. Pre- and post- questionnaires assessing student self-confidence were administered before and after each role play simulation and again following completion of the counseling course.

Statistically significant increases in student confidence were seen in delivering news to a parent in a caring and empathetic manner and giving recommendations and next steps to parents when comparing pre- and post- questionnaires. The mean responses across all scenarios revealed a positive trend in the students' pre- and post- confidence when delivering news in a simulated pediatric audiology setting. This project supports the benefit of implementing standardized patients and this form of experiential learning into LEND programs and audiology counseling education.

Research was presented by Wisconsin LEND graduate, Casey Wolter, and LEND mentor, Dr. Amy Hartman, at the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Meeting in Kansas City, MO on March 8-10, 2020. This study was funded through the LEND Pediatric Audiology Supplement to the WI LEND grant to the UW Waisman Center University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (HRSA T73MC00044).