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Provider Patient Communication (PPC) impacts patient outcomes and public health. Effective PPC can contribute to prevention of illness, early diagnosis and better management of disease. Conversely, a lack of competence in PPC can have adverse impacts on patient health. A physician’s formal training in PPC begins with Undergraduate Medical Education (UME). Building competence in PPC at the institutional level expands its impact to communities, and can contribute towards decreasing health disparities. Standardized Patient (SP) methodology is commonly used in UME, as a way to offer hands on training in the building of clinical skills such as PPC. Often SP feedback follows the simulation. SPs offer the simulated patient perspective directly to the student. This method may be a unique and impactful tool in building PPC skills, but gaps exist in our understanding of SP feedback. Methods used to train SPs to deliver feedback vary, as does the scope of SP feedback in the content it covers, and the way it is applied within medical curriculum. UME students are a key stakeholder in SP feedback methods.

A rapid systematic review was conducted to explore the perspectives of UME students on SP feedback, including its perceived strengths and opportunities for improvement. The review also aimed to explore the current scope of SP feedback including its content and training methods, and to evaluate ways to improve the effectiveness of SP feedback methods for improving PPC. Findings indicate that SP feedback is well accepted; however students offer positive and constructive views. SP feedback when compared to other feedback givers is rated equivocally or higher in most cases, and seems to have a unique role. SP training methods and scope of SP feedback was not well described. Recommendations for improving SP feedback methods as an effective tool in targeting PPC skills known to impact patient outcomes and public health are discussed.