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A new computer application for teaching sexual history taking to medical students: innovation and evaluation in the UfaceMETM program

Authors Ross MW, Ayers J, Schmidt W, Bugbee TW, Knight J, Muthyala BK, Newstrom NP

Received 21 November 2018

Accepted for publication 31 March 2019

Published 27 May 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 333—341

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S195461

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Maria Olenick

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Michael W Ross,1 James Ayers,2 William Schmidt,2 Thomas W Bugbee,2 Joan Knight,2 Brian K Muthyala,3 Nicholas P Newstrom1

1Program in Human Sexuality, Department of Family Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA; 2UfaceME, Minneapolis, MN 55416, USA; 3Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

Background: We developed an app (UfaceME) which simultaneously allows patient and clinician to be viewed on a split screen, then replayed and rated on a series of semantic differential scales and the ratings of the clinician of their own response to the interview, and the patient’s response, displayed on a graph.
Method: We evaluated the app with trials with 14 medical student volunteers who alternated the roles of patient and clinician, using 2 randomly allocated sexual case histories. Semantic differentials for 10 adjectives were examined pre- and post-exercise. There were significant differences in 8 of the 10 adjectives. A focus group with the 14 subjects was also carried out and transcribed. The exercise was repeated with all 175 first-year medical students taking a sexual history.
Results: Qualitative data indicated themes of being surprised and educated by non-verbal and verbal responses; seeing how the patient rated their responses; rating and watching discomfort; differences in clinician/patient perceptions and response; and the advantage of feedback. Quantitative data comparing self vs “patient” showed low correlations between perceptions of being “at ease”, moderate for appearing “distracted”, and high for appearing “engaged”.
Conclusion: UfaceME was easily understood and used, and the opportunity to replay and rate performance on key semantic scales, and watch and assess verbal and non-verbal performance, including patient rating, provided valuable insight.

Keywords: sexual history, interview skills app, medical students, training feedback

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