Improving pediatric residents' alcohol and other drug use clinical skills: Use of an experiential curriculum

P. K. Kokotailo*, R. Langhough, E. J. Neary, S. C. Matson, M. F. Fleming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of an experiential alcohol and other drug curriculum on pediatric residents' knowledge, attitudes, and skills in alcohol and other drug (AOD) issues. Design. Nonrandomized control trial. Setting. Two university pediatric residency programs. Participants. Pediatric residents (n = 44). Intervention. Intervention residents received an experiential AOD curriculum consisting of participation in an adolescent assessment program, interactive didactic sessions, role-playing practice, and interviewing skills sessions. The control group received no formal training. Main Outcome Measures. Pretesting and posttesting each group using written and Objective Structured Clinical Examination evaluations using standardized patients. Evaluations were videotaped and scored by an expert panel using a standardized scoring process. Results. Pretest comparisons of written knowledge and clinical skills as assessed by the Objective Structured Clinical Evaluation showed no significant differences between the intervention and the control groups. Analysis of written test scores revealed that residents' general knowledge as well as knowledge of screening techniques and management resources related to AOD issues increased significantly more for the intervention group than for the control group from pretest to posttest (P < .001). Evaluation of the videotapes showed significant improvement for the intervention group compared with controls in overall score and in the use of specific screening techniques and interviewing skills (P < .05). Self-assessment of residents' interest, confidence, and competence in AOD issues improved significantly for intervention residents vs controls (P < .05). Conclusions. Pediatric residents receiving an experiential AOD curriculum increased their knowledge and clinical skills in AOD issues significantly more than residents receiving no formal training. Similar curricula and evaluation could be used by other primary care residency programs and could be implemented in other areas of adolescent health risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - 1995


  • alcohol and drug use
  • clinical evaluation
  • medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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