Virtual patient simulations for brief assessment of mental health disorders in integrated care settings



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Social Work in Mental Health


This mixed methods pilot investigation evaluated the use of virtual patient simulations for increasing self-efficacy and diagnostic accuracy for common behavioral health concerns within an integrated care setting. A two by three factorial design was employed to evaluate three different simulated training conditions with a sample of 22 Masters level behavioral health students. Results support engagement in virtual patient simulation training to increase studentsÍ self-efficacy in brief clinical assessment, and support the use of virtual patient simulations to improve diagnostic accuracy. Results further indicate that virtual patient simulations have sufficient levels of usability and acceptability as a tool for developing brief clinical interviewing skills, and that participants found this method of instruction to be a valuable adjunct to traditional classroom or field based training. Future directions and next steps for the integration of technology enhanced simulations in clinical social services education are explored.



Integrated care, Mental health, Self-efficacy, Simulation based learning, Virtual patients


Copyright 2017 Social Work in Mental Health. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: Recommended citation: Washburn, Micki, Danielle E. Parrish, and Patrick S. Bordnick. "Virtual Patient Simulations for Brief Assessment of Mental Health Disorders in Integrated Care Settings." Social Work in Mental Health (2017): 1-28. doi: 10.1080/15332985.2017.1336743. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author's permission.