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Teaching SSHADESS v HEADSS to Medical Students:Association with Improved Communication and Increased Psychosocial Assessments

Published:September 18, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2022.09.012

      Abstract

      Objective

      The most recent Bright Futures edition describes both the HEADSS (Home, Education, Drugs, Sexuality, Safety) and the strength-based SSHADESS (Strengths, School, Home, Activities, Drugs, Emotions, Sexuality, Safety) frameworks for conducting an adolescent psychosocial history. We found limited research comparing the effectiveness of these two frameworks. Our study objective was to examine whether teaching medical students SSHADESS versus HEADSS is associated with increased communication skills and/or completion of the psychosocial assessment.

      Methods

      In this retrospective cohort study of pediatric clerkship students at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, we collected data from observer (faculty, fellow, and resident) and standardized patient (SP) assessments during Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. Primary outcomes were observer and SP-rated usage of communication skills. Secondary outcomes were observer-rated assessment of six psychosocial factors. Our predictor variable was whether students were taught HEADSS (11/2015-10/2016) or SSHADESS (11/2016-10/2017). We used Fisher's exact tests and then logistic regressions to adjust for pediatrics clerkship timing and baseline communication skills.

      Results

      200 students were assessed (n=97 HEADSS cohort, n=103 SSHADESS cohort). In adjusted analyses of observer scores, the SSHADESS cohort was more likely to use all communication skills (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.2, 95% CI 1.7-6.3]) and assess all psychosocial factors (aOR 1.9, [95% CI 1.01-3.4]). There was no significant difference in SP communication scores.

      Discussion

      Teaching SSHADESS was associated with higher observer-rated communication skills scores and improved completeness in assessment of psychosocial factors. Future work should examine the efficacy of SSHADESS through workplace-based assessments and 360 degree assessments from adolescent patients.

      Keywords

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