Utilizing Standardized Patients to Enhance Health Literacy Communication Skills

Date of Review: May, 2019

This resource, from MedEdPORTAL, includes 4 standardized patient cases intended for use with medical students and residents to teach communication skills pertaining to health literacy. Learners during pilot testing felt the cases were most appropriate for M3, M4, and PGY1 level residents. The packet includes validity evidence collected to support the use of the cases, the cases themselves, and a health literacy communication checklist (with associated validity evidence). The authors note that the cases are not meant to teach all health literacy related content and provide a list of additional resources that could be adapted to use as curricular materials before learners encounter the standardized patient cases. Some language and medical information in the cases may need to be updated from the time of original creation in 2004 (i.e. recommended frequency of pap testing, focus on blood glucose testing), but the overall case constructs remain relevant to learners. Adoption of this content assumes that one has access to standardized patients (SPs), standardized patient space, and financial resources to support SP training and implementation. – Brigid Dolan, MD NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:



Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation

Where Was the Curriculum Implemented?

Charlotte, North Carolina

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:


Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Learner satisfaction or reaction

Measured learner behavior in simulated setting

Outcome and Study Design:

Post only

Level of Learner Assessment

Appreciation of content/attitude assessment (self-reflection, blogging with rubric)

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