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Methods Inf Med. 2010;49(4):406-11. doi: 10.3414/ME9311. Epub 2010 Apr 20.

Automating individualized coaching and authentic role-play practice for brief intervention training.

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Lifelike Solutions Inc., 54 Marianna Lane, Atherton, CA 94027, USA.



Brief intervention helps to reduce alcohol abuse, but there is a need for accessible, cost-effective training of clinicians. This study evaluated STAR Workshop , a web-based training system that automates efficacious techniques for individualized coaching and authentic role-play practice.


We compared STAR Workshop to a web-based, self-guided e-book and a no-treatment control, for training the Engage for Change (E4C) brief intervention protocol. Subjects were medical and nursing students. Brief written skill probes tested subjects' performance of individual protocol steps, in different clinical scenarios, at three test times: pre-training, post-training, and post-delay (two weeks). Subjects also did live phone interviews with a standardized patient, post-delay.


STAR subjects performed significantly better than both other groups. They showed significantly greater improvement from pre-training probes to post-training and post-delay probes. They scored significantly higher on post-delay phone interviews.


STAR Workshop appears to be an accessible, cost-effective approach for training students to use the E4C protocol for brief intervention in alcohol abuse. It may also be useful for training other clinical interviewing protocols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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