THE USE OF ACTORS AS STANDARDIZED PATIENTS IN MENTAL HEALTH NURSING SIMULATIONS TO INCREASE CONFIDENCE AND DECREASE ANXIETY IN PRE-LICENSURE NURSING STUDENTS

Open Access
Author:
Abramowich, Kathryn Donlin
Area of Honors:
Nursing
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Lisa Ann Kitko, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lisa Ann Kitko, Honors Advisor
  • Judith E Hupcey, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Actors
  • Standardized Patients
  • Nursing
  • Nursing simulation
  • Simulation
  • Nursing education
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Confidence
  • Anxiety
Abstract:
The use of actors as standardized patients in mental health nursing simulations to educate pre-licensure nursing students is still a relatively new educational method in the nursing field. As using actors as standardized patients becomes a more common practice among nurse educators, research is necessary to provide insight into whether standardized patient simulation is an effective teaching method. PURPOSE: To investigate the literature concerning the use of actors as standardized patients in mental health nursing simulations to increase confidence and decrease anxiety in pre-licensure nursing students. DESIGN AND METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was conducted using the PubMed and CINAHL databases with the search terms 1) actors or standardized patients; 2) pre-licensure nursing students; 3) mental health as the setting; 4) simulation as the intervention; and 5) confidence or anxiety as study outcomes. Results were limited to original research articles in English written in the past 10 years. In total, ten articles were selected and included as part of the systematic review. RESULTS: Current evidence is in agreement that using actors as standardized patients in mental health nursing simulations increases confidence and decreases anxiety in pre-licensure nursing students. All studies measured confidence and anxiety levels immediately post-simulation experience. CONCLUSION: There are currently no standardized measures for confidence and anxiety levels. Each study utilized different measures, which is a limitation to the systematic review. Future research should focus on reliable and valid assessment measures and study designs to evaluate if the change persists past the immediate intervention phase.