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A randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of combining video role play with traditional methods of delivering undergraduate medical education
  1. Clare Knowles1,
  2. Francia Kinchington2,
  3. Jo Erwin1,
  4. Barry Peters1
  1. 1Academic Department of Genitourinary Medicine, GKT, St Thomas's Hospital, London SEI 7EH, UK
  2. 2School of Education, University of Greenwich, London, UK
  1. Dr Barry Petersbarry.peters{at}


Objective: To determine the effectiveness of video role play with structured feedback in improving undergraduate communication skills and application of knowledge in genitourinary medicine.

Design: A blind, randomised, controlled trial.

Subjects and setting: Fourth year undergraduates attending a 5 week attachment in genitourinary medicine during 1997 at a London medical school.

Intervention: A randomly selected sample group of undergraduates were filmed in the role of a doctor interviewing a patient (played by an actor) presenting with a genitourinary (GU) problem. Structured feedback by a GU physician and an educational psychologist was given a week later. The control group of undergraduates did not receive this training intervention.

Outcome measures: Student performance in two stations of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), administered at the end of their attachment. This tested communication skills and knowledge in GU settings.

Results: 132 undergraduates were assessed in the OSCE. 40 of these were in the sample group who received training using video role play with feedback and 92 were in the control group. The sample group scored significantly higher marks than the control group (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Video role play with structured feedback is effective in improving undergraduate communication skills and application of knowledge in GU medicine settings.

  • education
  • role play
  • video assessment

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  • websiteextraA slide show presentation which can be downloaded is on the STI

  • Conflicts of interest: none.