Teaching smoking-cessation counseling to medical students using simulated patients

Am J Prev Med. 1997 May-Jun;13(3):153-8.


Objective: Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of using simulated patient instructors and the Ockene method to instruct third-year medical students in smoking-cessation counseling techniques.

Design: We used a clinical exercise with self-study preparation and simulated patient instructors.

Methods: One hundred fifty-nine students participated in a smoking-cessation counseling session in which cognitive and behavioral endpoints were assessed by simulated patient instructors and the students themselves.

Results: Student performance in the cognitive and behavioral components of model smoking-cessation counseling was acceptable. Specific areas of weakness, such as the tendency of students to underemphasize the personal and social benefits of smoking cessation, and to overestimate their competence on a number of skill items, were identified. Student evaluation of the exercise was positive.

Conclusions: Smoking-cessation counseling can be taught effectively to third-year medical students by simulated patient instructors during a clinical clerkship.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship*
  • Counseling / education*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Students, Medical / psychology
  • Teaching / methods