Experiences of volunteer patients during undergraduate examinations: printed information can lead to greater satisfaction

Med Educ. 1999 Mar;33(3):165-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.1999.00279.x.


Background: Whilst most patients are happy to participate in medical examinations, previous studies have shown that some are dissatisfied with the information that they receive beforehand.

Objectives: To demonstrate that patient satisfaction can be improved by the provision of written information.

Methods: Thirty-seven patients attending the final MBBS examination were sent written information about what to expect. The patients' experiences were assessed by means of an anonymous postal questionnaire 1 week after the examination. Their satisfaction with the level of information received beforehand was compared with that of an historical cohort who had received no written information.

Results: The patients had few complaints about their experience of participating in examinations and many enjoyed it. Only 5% of patients registered dissatisfaction with the level of information that was provided, compared with 18% in the previous study (P = 0.077).

Conclusions: Written information led to a (near significant) improvement in patients satisfaction when compared to a previous cohort. We recommend that all patients attending for medical examinations should be provided with written information.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Humans
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires