Featured Article| Volume 25, P28-35, December 2018

Intervention for Standardized Patients' Anxiety After “Receiving Bad News” Scenarios

Published:November 30, 2018DOI:


      • Portraying difficult scenarios can affect standardized patients' physical and psychological health negatively. Also these effects can sometimes be long term.
      • It has been shown that relaxation exercises have a significant reduction in the standardized patients' anxiety. The use of relaxation exercises is practical and effective.
      • The relaxation exercises used in this study helped standardized patients detach themselves emotionally from the difficult scenarios they portrayed; they also achieved relaxation and a sense of well-being.
      • It was recommended planning similar types of interventions for standardized patients to be conducted after they portray emotionally difficult scenarios.



      This study aimed to determine the anxiety levels of standardized/simulated patients (SPs) who received bad news and to explore the effects of relaxation exercises during the de-roling/debriefing phase on the anxiety levels of the SPs.


      A pretest/post-test pattern was used for 19 SPs who participated in the study.


      The SPs were mildly anxious (mean State-Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI] score, 38.16 ± 8.69) before delivery of the bad news. After delivery of the bad news, the SPs showed moderate anxiety levels (mean STAI score, 47.89 ± 8.95). The relaxation exercises showed a statistically significant decrease in the anxiety levels, and the SPs (p < .001) showed mild anxiety levels (STAI mean score, 25.63 ± 5.43).


      Relaxation exercises during de-roling/debriefing showed promising effects to provide a psychologically safe working environment for SPs, especially after portraying difficult scenarios.


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