Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine
Annotated Abstracts of Journal Articles
PUBLICATION #1 — Medical Education
Psychosomatic medicine for non-psychiatric residents: video education and incorporation of technology
Saunders J, Gopalan P, Puri N, et al
J Acad Psychiatry 2015; 39(6):649-653
The finding: There are potential opportunities for non-psychiatric residents in a general hospital setting to be educated about psychiatric concepts. Video interventions can be effective tools for teaching non-psychiatric residents topics in psychiatry.
Strength and weaknesses: This is a novel study on how web-based video educational tools can be used to teach topics in psychiatry to residents. The participants in the study came from a diverse group of medical specialties. The study highlights general topics in psychiatry (such as perinatal psychiatry, issues pertaining to commitment and bipolar disorder management) which non-psychiatric residents feel uncomfortable with. The study also emphasizes the need for more psychiatric education targeted at non-psychiatric residents. Weaknesses: The sample size of the study was small and the response rate was 30%. The study was done in one institution so the generalizability of the findings is limited. Although using pre- and post-test evaluations to assess the effectiveness of the video was useful, we don’t know what the long term impact of the video wasl—it would have been more compelling to have a three-month or six-month post-intervention assessment to evaluate how well residents recall the information.
Relevance: Residents training in a variety of medical and surgical specialties have reported different levels of comfort with diagnosing and managing psychiatric conditions. Psychosomatic medicine (PM) psychiatrists interact more frequently and routinely with non-psychiatric residents as compared to other psychiatrists in general. PM psychiatrists therefore have more opportunities to teach basic psychiatric concepts and management strategies to non-psychiatric residents in their line of work. In addition to traditional methods of teaching on rounds, technology-based interventions can be employed for teaching as well.
PUBLICATION #2 — Medical Education
Handover education improves skill and confidence
Stojan J, Mullan P, Fitzgerald J, et al
Clin Teach 2015 Dec 6 [Epub ahead of print]
The finding: Medical student sub-internships provide an opportunity to teach senior medical students handover skills.
Strength and weaknesses: This is one of a few studies looking at the effectiveness of a handoff curriculum targeted at medical students since most of the current studies and interventions target residents. The effectiveness of the intervention was assessed immediately and after a 12-month period. Weaknesses: The study was performed in one department in one academic medical center so the findings are not generalizable. The sample size for the study was also small and participants were not randomly assigned to the intervention and control groups.
Relevance: Psychosomatic medicine physicians have the opportunity to teach medical students handoffs during their rotation on the consult psychiatry service. Incorporating effective handoff strategies has the potential to improve verbal and written communication associated with psychiatric consultations.
PUBLICATION #3 — Medical Education
Junior doctors’ experiences of managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms: a qualitative study
Yon K, Nettleton S, Walters K, Lamahewa K, Buszewicz M
BMJ Open 2015; 5(12):e009593
The finding: Junior physicians identified a gap in their knowledge pertaining to medically unexplained symptoms. There is a great need for a robust medically unexplained symptoms teaching (which incorporates clinical knowledge and skills) curriculum for residents.
Strength and weaknesses: This is the first known study that explores junior doctors’ experiences and level of comfort managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms. The study helped to identify specific areas for training residents and junior doctors on medically unexplained symptoms. The study participants were from different institutions. Weaknesses: The sample size for the study is small. Participants were all general practitioners so their experiences with medically unexplained symptoms may not be generalizable to other medical specialties, especially psychiatry.
Relevance: Psychosomatic medicine physicians are routinely consulted to help with the management of patients with medically unexplained symptoms. Based on the findings from this study, it will be useful for psychosomatic medicine doctors to use consultations for medically unexplained symptoms as opportunities to teach the clinical knowledge and practical skills pertaining to the topic.
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