Medical specialties, including surgery, obstetrics, anesthesia, critical care, and trauma, have adopted simulation technology for measuring clinical competency as a routine part of their residency training programs; yet, simulation technologies have rarely been adapted or used for psychiatry training.
The authors describe the development of a web-based computer simulation tool intended to assess physician competence in obtaining informed consent before prescribing antipsychotic medication to a simulated patient with symptoms of psychosis.
Eighteen residents participated in a pilot study of the Computer Simulation Assessment Tool (CSAT). Outcome measures included physician performance on required elements, pre- and post-test measures of physician confidence in obtaining informed consent, and levels of system usability.
Data suggested that the CSAT increased physician confidence in obtaining informed consent and that it was easy to use.
The CSAT was an effective educational tool in simulating patient—physician interactions, and it may serve as a model for use of other web-based simulations to augment traditional teaching methods in residency education.