The use of virtual patient scenarios as a vehicle for teaching professionalism

H. F. Marei*, M. M. Al-Eraky, N. N. Almasoud, J. Donkers, J. J. G. Van Merrienboer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

ObjectivesThis study aimed to measure students' perceptions of virtual patient scenarios (VPs) for developing ethical reasoning skills and to explore features in VP design that are necessary to promote professionalism.

MethodsSixty-five dental students participated in learning sessions that involved collaborative practice with five VPs (four high fidelity and one low fidelity), followed by reflection sessions. Students' perceptions towards the use of VPs in developing ethical reasoning skills were assessed using a questionnaire that involved 10 closed and three open-ended questions.

ResultsHigh-fidelity VPs were perceived as significantly better for developing ethical reasoning skills than low-fidelity VPs. Analyses of answers to open-ended questions revealed two new features that are specific for VPs intended for teaching professionalism, which are VP dramatic structure and how it should end.

ConclusionVPs intended for teaching professionalism need to have high fidelity, follow a specific dramatic structure and should include multiple plausible endings. The use of VPs as part of a collaborative activity that is followed by a reflection session is perceived as an effective tool for the development of ethical reasoning skills in dental education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E253-E260
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • ethical reasoning
  • professionalism
  • virtual patient
  • virtual simulation
  • MEDICAL-EDUCATION
  • DENTAL EDUCATION
  • FACULTY-DEVELOPMENT
  • 12 TIPS
  • SIMULATION
  • PRINCIPLES
  • ETHICS
  • PERSPECTIVE
  • LITIGATION
  • STUDENTS

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