Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 309–312 | Cite as

Video Modeling of SBIRT for Alcohol Use Disorders Increases Student Empathy in Standardized Patient Encounters

  • Anthony Crisafio
  • Victoria Anderson
  • Julia Frank
In Brief Report



The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of adding video models of brief alcohol assessment and counseling to a standardized patient (SP) curriculum that covers and tests acquisition of this skill.


The authors conducted a single-center, retrospective cohort study of third- and fourth-year medical students between 2013 and 2015. All students completed a standardized patient (SP) encounter illustrating the diagnosis of alcohol use disorder, followed by an SP exam on the same topic. Beginning in August 2014, the authors supplemented the existing formative SP exercise on problem drinking with one of two 5-min videos demonstrating screening, brief intervention, and referral for treatment (SBIRT). P values and Z tests were performed to evaluate differences between students who did and did not see the video in knowledge and skills related to alcohol use disorders.


One hundred ninety-four students were included in this analysis. Compared to controls, subjects did not differ in their ability to uncover and accurately characterize an alcohol problem during a standardized encounter (mean exam score 41.29 vs 40.93, subject vs control, p = 0.539). However, the SPs’ rating of students’ expressions of empathy were significantly higher for the group who saw the video (81.63 vs 69.79%, p < 0.05).


The findings did not confirm the original hypothesis that the videos would improve students’ recognition and knowledge of alcohol-related conditions. However, feedback from the SPs produced the serendipitous finding that the communication skills demonstrated in the videos had a sustained effect in enhancing students’ professional behavior.


Video modeling Alcohol interventions SBIRT 



Thanks to Margaret Chisholm, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for sharing the videos.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This study used only non-copyrighted videos available from SBIRT Oregon.

Ethical Considerations

Study received a waiver from the GWU IRB. Data from student subjects was de-identified before analysis to protect confidentiality.


On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Funding Sources



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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.University of MarylandBaltimoreUSA

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