Standardized Patient Actor Training to Improve Adolescent Engagement in HIV Care

“I Have Actually not Lost any Adolescent Since I Started Engaging Them one on one:” Training Satisfaction and Subsequent Practice among Health Providers Participating in a Standardized Patient Actor Training to Improve Adolescent Engagement in HIV Care

Lead Author: Hellen M. Okinyi, BSN
Submitted by: Amy E. Lorion, National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners

“Background: Poor health care worker (HCW) interactions with adolescents negatively influence engagement in HIV care. We assessed the impact of standardized patient actor training on HCW competence in providing adolescent HIV care in Kenya. Methods: We conducted pre-post cross-sectional surveys and qualitative exit interviews during a stepped wedge randomized trial. Cross-sectional surveys assessed self-rated competence in providing adolescent services before and after the intervention, and training satisfaction. In-depth interviews with a subset of HCW participants one year after training. Results: Over 90% of HCWs reported satisfaction with the training and there was significant improvement in self-rated competence scores (mean = 4.63 [highest possible score of 5] post-training vs 3.86 pre-training, p < 0.001). One-year following training, HCWs reported using skills in patient-centered communication and structuring an adolescent clinical encounter. Conclusions: This SP training intervention improved self-rated competence and showed sustained perceived impact on HCW skills in adolescent HIV service provision one year later.”
The title of this article is somewhat misleading since it suggests that the study examines changes in healthcare provider practices and in patient retention after training with SPs, but the study instead engages with the providers’ perceptions of change. If you read the article for data on documented process improvements and retention rates, you may be disappointed. However, the article provides useful insights into provider perceptions, particularly regarding changing attitudes toward the adolescents and young adults in their care and increased awareness of the power of provider-patient communication. Quotations from interviews taken with participants one year post-training demonstrate lasting impact on their attitudes and perception of self and patient.

Read the full article in the Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (JIAPAC) here.

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