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Acad Med. 2007 Oct;82(10 Suppl):S61-4.

Effects associated with adolescent standardized patient simulation of depression and suicidal ideation.

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  • 1HSC 3G41, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, L8N 3Z5, Canada.



Because of common use of adolescent simulated patients (ASPs), clarification of the risk of negative effects associated with high-stress simulations is essential. This study evaluates the safety of suicidality simulations.


ASPs participated in a suicidality role or pediatric role. Explicit measures of their impact included the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire (SIQ) and Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale-2 (RADS-2), both of which were completed pre-/poststudy. Implicit behavioral measures of impact were also collected during training, including the Implicit Association Test.


Three of the 24 participants had clinical RADS-2 and/or SIQ scores. None of these adolescents' mental status deteriorated with SP participation. ASPs in the suicidality role showed behavioral effects consistent with a negative reaction, and two reported brief depression.


ASPs participated in a suicidality simulation without evidence of suicide contagion. However, ASPs' behavioral reactions and self-reported depression suggested a transient depressive reaction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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