Video-based communication assessment for weight management counseling training in medical residents: a mixed methods study

BMC Med Educ. 2022 Dec 28;22(1):899. doi: 10.1186/s12909-022-03984-6.


Background: Physician delivered weight management counseling (WMC) occurs infrequently and physicians report lack of training and poor self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to develop and test the Video-based Communication Assessment (VCA) for weight management counseling (WMC) training in medical residents.

Methods: This study was a mixed methods pilot conducted in 3 phases. First, we created five vignettes based on our prior data and expert feedback, then administered the vignettes via the VCA to Internal Medicine categorical residents (n = 16) from a University Medical School. Analog patients rated responses and also provided comments. We created individualized feedback reports which residents were able to view on the VCA. Lastly, we conducted debriefing interviews with the residents (n = 11) to obtain their feedback on the vignettes and personalized feedback. Interviews were transcribed, and we used thematic analysis to generate and apply codes, followed by identifying themes.

Results: Descriptive statistics were calculated and learning points were created for the individualized feedback reports. In VCA debriefing interviews with residents, five themes emerged: 1) Overall the VCA was easy to use, helpful and more engaging than traditional learning and assessment modes, 2) Patient scenarios were similar to those encountered in the clinic, including diversity, health literacy and different stages of change, 3) The knowledge, skills, and reminders from the VCA can be transferred to practice, 4) Feedback reports were helpful, to the point and informative, including the exemplar response of how to best respond to the scenario, and 5) The VCA provide alternatives and practice scenarios to real-life patient situations when they aren't always accessible.

Conclusions: We demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of the VCA, a technology delivered platform, for delivering WMC to residents. The VCA exposed residents to diverse patient experiences and provided potential opportunities to tailor providers responses to sociological and cultural factors in WMC scenarios. Future work will examine the effect of the VCA on WMC in actual clinical practice.

Keywords: Analog patients; Feedback; Residents; Technology; Weight management.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Learning