Reliability of Standardized Patients Used in a Communication Study for International Nurses in the United States

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As an evaluation method, standardized patients have a long history in medical education and research yet are less established in nursing. This paper explores the reliability of using standardized patients as the evaluative method in a communication competence pilot study with international nurses. Standardized patients and second raters scored the same encounters. We examined the scores by intraclass correlation coefficients. Anecdotal comments by the two types of raters were assessed qualitatively to highlight similarities and areas of difference between them. The results of reliability analysis for standardized patients scores for the composite variables of Establishing Communicative Rapport, Therapeutic Communication, Non-Verbal Communication, and Overall Satisfaction ranged from 0.755 (P < 0.01) to 0.42 (P = 0.09). In this study, the results showed standardized patient evaluation has moderate to substantial reliability when compared to second raters of the same set of clinical encounters. This is similar to the reliability established over many decades of medical research. Greater use of this dynamic and interactive technique may be beneficial to nursing education and research.


Communication in nursing; International nurse; Intraclass correlation; Nurse and patient; Nursing – Study and teaching; Reliability; Research – Methodology; Standardized patient; Transcultural nursing


Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Nursing


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