The value of SPaCE in delivering patient feedback

Laura Clapham, Laura Allan, Kevin Stirling (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    BACKGROUND: The use of simulated patients (SPs) within undergraduate medical curricula is an established and valued learning opportunity. Within the context of simulation, it is imperative to capture feedback from all participants within the simulation activity. The Simulated Patient Candidate Evaluation (SPaCE) tool was developed to deliver SP feedback following a simulation activity. SpaCE is a closed feedback tool that allows SPs to rate a student's performance, using a five-point Likert scale, in three domains: attitude; interaction skills; and management. This research study examined the value of the SPaCE tool and how it contributes to the overall feedback that a student receives.

    METHODS: Classical test theory was used to determine the reliability of the SPaCE tool. An evaluation of all SP responses was conducted to observe trends in scoring patterns for each question. Qualitative data were collected via a free-text questionnaire and subsequent focus group discussion. It is imperative to capture feedback from all participants within the simulation activity

    RESULTS: Classical test theory determined that the SPaCE tool had a reliability co-efficient of 0.89. A total of 13 SPs replied to the questionnaire. A thematic analysis of all questionnaire data identified that the SPaCE tool provides a structure that allows patient feedback to be given effectively following a simulation activity. These themes were discussed further with six SPs who attended the subsequent focus group session.

    DISCUSSION: The SPaCE tool has been shown to be a reliable closed feedback tool that allows SPs to discriminate between students, based on their performance. The next stage in the development of the SPaCE tool is to test the wider applicability of this feedback tool.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-27
    Number of pages5
    JournalClinical Teacher
    Issue number1
    Early online date7 Dec 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


    • Clinical competence
    • Communication
    • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
    • Educational measurement
    • Formative feedback
    • Humans
    • Patient simulation
    • Physician-patient relations
    • Reproducibility of results
    • Journal article


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