Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 535–543

Efficacy of a one-month training block in psychosocial medicine for residents

A controlled study
  • Robert C. Smith
  • Gerald Osborn
  • Ruth B. Hoppe
  • Judith S. Lyles
  • Lawrence Van Egeren
  • Rebecca Henry
  • Doug Sego
  • Patrick Alguire
  • Bertram Stoffelmayr
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF02598223

Cite this article as:
Smith, R.C., Osborn, G., Hoppe, R.B. et al. J Gen Intern Med (1991) 6: 535. doi:10.1007/BF02598223

Abstract

Study objective:To determine the efficacy of a comprehensive, one-month psychosocial training program for first-year medical residents.

Design:Nonrandomized, controlled study with immediate pre/post evaluation. Limited evaluation of some residents was also conducted an average of 15 months after teaching.

Setting:Community-based, primary care-oriented residency program at Michigan State University (MSU).

Subjects:All 28 interns from the single-track MSU residency program during 1986/87–88/89 participated in this required rotation; there was no dropout or instance of noncompliance with the study. In the follow-up study in 1989, all 13 available trainees participated. Of 20 untrained, volunteer controls, ten were second/third-year residents in the same program during 1986/87 and ten were interns from a similar MSU program in Kalamazoo, MI, during 1988/89.

Teaching intervention:An experiential, skill-oriented, and learner-centered rotation with competency-based objects focused on communication and relationship-building skills and on the diagnosis and management of psychologically disturbed medical patients.

Measurements and main results:The two subsets of the control group were combined because residents and training programs were similar and because means and standard deviations for the subsets were similar on all measures. By two-way analyses of variance (group×gender), the trainee group showed significantly greater gains (p<0.001) on questionnaires addressing knowledge, self-assessment, and attitudes; a mean of 15 months following training, there was no significant deterioration of attitude scores. All trainees were also able to identify previously unrecognized, potentially deleterious personal responses using a systematic rating procedure. Residents’ acceptance of the program was high.

Conclusions:Intensive, comprehensive psychosocial training was well accepted by residents. It improved their knowledge, self-awareness, self-assessment, and attitudes, the latter improvement persisting well beyond training.

Key words

psychosocial teachingmedical interviewingresidency trainingeducation evaluationresident attitudesphysician-patient relationship

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. Smith
    • 1
  • Gerald Osborn
  • Ruth B. Hoppe
  • Judith S. Lyles
  • Lawrence Van Egeren
  • Rebecca Henry
  • Doug Sego
  • Patrick Alguire
  • Bertram Stoffelmayr
  1. 1.Department of MedicineEast Lansing