Zaccariah, ZR, Irvine, AW and Lefroy, JE (2022) Feasibility study of student telehealth interviews. The Clinical Teacher. ISSN 1743-498X

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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to medical students being taught remote clinical communication modalities (telephone and video). Junior students have not generally been included in this and have had less patient contact than previously. This study aimed to examine the feasibility from the junior student viewpoint of conducting both modalities of patient telehealth interviews.

Methods: An electronic questionnaire was used to discover Year 1 student reasons for their preferred modality after they had conducted one telephone and one video interview in pairs with a patient volunteer. Student views on the challenge and benefits of each were also sought.

Findings: A total of 55 (32.7% of the cohort) responded, of whom 82% preferred video consultation, 75.6% of those stating being able to see their patient/partner was a key factor. About 5% preferred telephone interview, and 13% had no preference. Telephone interviews were perceived as the more challenging (40% versus 12.7%); however, challenge did not directly link with lack of comfort. There were some technical/connectivity issues with both modalities, and the telephone call system was more complex to set up. Turn-taking was more difficult by telephone without visual cues.

Discussion: This is the first direct comparison study in junior medical students of real patient interviews by video or telephone. Students embraced the challenge and, although preferring video and finding telephone more challenging, valued each as an educational experience.

Conclusions: Telehealth interviews with patients for junior students are feasible, give needed patient exposure, practical insights into remote modalities and consolidate communication skills learnt in the classroom.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education. Medical schools. Research
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2022 13:27
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 13:02

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