An adaptation of the simulated patient methodology to study preventive health advice by doctors
AbstractThe simulated patient methodology was applied in a study to investigate the extent to which preventive and promotive advice is integrated into the clinical practices of private general practitioners, private specialists, medical officers in the outpatient department of general hospitals and government specialists. A random sample of 322 doctors were visited by the simulated patients. Twenty-eight volunteers acted as simulated patients and were trained to portray accurately the clinical problems related to the selected healthy lifestyle topic. The simulated patients were trained from protocols using standard methods. Each protocol contained a controlled and standardized stimulus in the form of either a verbal or physical cue to be presented to the study doctors. They were also trained to report accurately about the consultation, using a prepared checklist.