Objectives: To compare the quality of communication and behavioral change skills among dietetic students having two nutrition encounters with either a real patient or a standardized patient in the simulation laboratory at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, United States. Methods: A retrospective analysis of video recordings (n= 138) containing nutrition encounters of dietetic students (n= 75) meeting with a standardized patient (SP) or a real patient (RP). Trained raters evaluated communication skills with the 28 item Calgary Cambridge Observation Guide (CCOG) and skills promoting behavior change using the 11 item Behavior Change Counseling Index (BECCI) tool. Results: Using the CCOG, there was a significantly greater mean score in the SP group for the category of "Gathering Information" in encounter one (p= 0.020). There were good to excellent ratings in all categories of the CCOG and the BECCI scores for the SP and the RP groups at both encounters. There was no significant differences in change scores from encounter one to encounter two between groups. Conclusions: Encounters with SPs and RPs are both effective strategies for dietetic students to demonstrate their communication and behavior change skills. Practice implications: Utilizing SPs is an effective experiential strategy for nutrition counseling curricula.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavior change counseling index
- Calgary Cambridge tool
- Communication skills, Dietetic students
- Nutrition counseling
- Standardized patients