Introduction Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) account for up to 40% of new outpatient referrals to general medic clinics,1 and up to 30% of primary care presentations.2 Patients with MUS generate higher healthcare costs, while healthcare students report that they are not adequate prepared to work with patients experiencing MUS.
The limited experience that students have of MUS usually originates on placements,3 while lack of training can impact negatively on the attitudes of healthcare professionals towards MUS and the care they subsequently provide.
Maudsley Simulation has piloted and evaluated an interprofessional simulation course to support the assessment and management of patients experiencing MUS.
The study measured changes in:
Understanding of how to assess and manage patients presenting with possible MUS
Confidence in explaining MUS to patients
Working more effectively with colleagues when supporting patients with MUS
Methods Participants (n ≈ 25) were specialist nurses and doctors from medicine, GP and psychiatry. Each participant took part in at least 1 of 12 scenarios and observed the others, contributing to debriefs also, with expert faculty present to provide in-depth knowledge.
Each participant completed pre and post course questionnaires to quantitatively assess the impact of the training on knowledge and confidence when supporting patients presenting with MUS. Evaluation forms were also administered to each participants to collect qualitative feedback on the course and its impact.
Outcomes Data collection has not been completed, however preliminary findings are available. Knowledge and confidence scores have shown increases post course, while examination of open questions from the evaluation form suggest an impact on human factors, such as interprofessional collaboration, communication, and reflective practice. Data collection will be complete prior to presentation of this abstract.
Implications Preliminary findings support the utility of simulation training in addressing MUS interprofessional in various healthcare settings.
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