University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

The Effect of a Mock Medical Visit on Refugee Health Self-Efficacy and Medical Trainee Communication Apprehension

Gabriel N. De Vela, MD; Caitlin Kaeppler, MD; Sonia B. Mehta, MD; Jaimee M. Hall, DO, MA; Kelsey Porada, MA; Carmen E. Cobb, MD

WMJ. 2023;122(1):48-51.

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Background: As refugees adjust to a new country, their health care can take a toll. Refugees may have difficulty navigating a new health care system and experience low health self-efficacy. Another potential contributor is inadequate medical trainee curriculum addressing refugee health.

Methods: We devised simulated clinic experiences called mock medical visits. Surveys were utilized before and after the mock medical visits to assess the Health Self-Efficacy Scale for refugees and the Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension for trainees.

Results: Health Self-Efficacy Scale scores increased from 13.67 to 15.47 (P = 0.08, n = 15). Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension scores decreased from 27.1 to 25.4 (P = 0.40, n = 10).

Discussion: While our study did not reach statistical significance, the overall trends suggest mock medical visits can be a valuable tool to increase health self-efficacy in refugee community members and decrease intercultural communication apprehension in medical trainees.

Author Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (De Vela, Kaeppler, Mehta, Hall, Porada, Cobb-Walch); Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio (De Vela); Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, California (Cobb-Walch); Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, UCSF, San Francisco, Cal (Mehta); Department of Pediatrics, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri (Hall).
Corresponding Author: Gabriel N. De Vela, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, MLC 7015, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3026; phone 513.293.4266; email
Funding/Support: This project was partially funded by an American Academy of Pediatrics CATCH Resident Grant (2019 Cycle 1).
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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