Not Lost in Translation: The Use of Standardized Patients Technology among Health Professional Students in Tanzania

  • Ever Mkonyi, PhD University of Minnesota
  • Ndeye Boury Silla Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine
  • Corissa T. Rohloff University of Minnesota
  • Gift Gadiel Lukumay Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Michael W. Ross, PhD University of Minnesota
  • Nidhi Kohli, PhD University of Minnesota
  • Lucy Raphael Mgopa Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Agnes Fredrick Massae Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Inari S. Mohammed University of Minnesota
  • Stella Emmanuel Mushy Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Dorkasi L. Mwakawanga Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
  • Brian Robert Simon Rosser, PhD University of Minnesota
  • Maria Trent Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine
Keywords: Standardized Patients, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Simulation, Health Care Providers
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Health professionals in Tanzania report a perceived need for sexual and reproductive health communication training to meet patient needs and reduce disparities. Simulation optimizes clinical performance and public entrustment. The study describes the development, feasibility, and acceptability measures of evidence-based, Afrocentric, standardized patient scenarios to train nursing, medical, and midwifery students in sexual and reproductive health in Tanzania. Standardized patient simulation cases with embedded cultural, language, gender, age, sexuality, and legal complexity issues were identified by stakeholders in Dar es Salaam centring on;1) adolescent health, 2) women’s health, and 3) male health cases.  Twenty-four health professional students evenly split across nursing, midwifery, and medicine were recruited and enrolled to participate in a pilot trial of the standardized patient simulations conducted in Kiswahili and the results were recorded. Videos were evaluated by trained bilingual research staff using standardized behavioural checklists. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analyses were used to assess the pilot data. The study found that seventy- five percent (N =18) of baseline participants (N=24) returned for the 3-month follow-up simulation assessment. While not powered for statistical significance, students showed improvement in all cases and a significant improvement in the male erectile dysfunction concerns case for both interpersonal communication (t (17) = -3.445, p < .005) and medical history taking checklist (t (17) = -3.259, p < .005). Further, most students found the opportunity to practice using the simulations helpful or very helpful in their sexual and reproductive health education. It was therefore concluded that preliminary sexual and reproductive health simulation data using standardized patients demonstrated feasibility and acceptability among student participants.


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8 June, 2023
How to Cite
Mkonyi, E., Silla, N., Rohloff, C., Lukumay, G., Ross, M., Kohli, N., Mgopa, L., Massae, A., Mohammed, I., Mushy, S., Mwakawanga, D., Rosser, B. R., & Trent, M. (2023). Not Lost in Translation: The Use of Standardized Patients Technology among Health Professional Students in Tanzania. East African Journal of Health and Science, 6(1), 149-161.

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