The Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Guide: An Exploratory Analysis of a Medical Trainee Performance Evaluation Tool

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PurposeFew opportunities exist for medical students and residents to receive feedback on specific geriatric skills because they are frequently unsupervised when assessing elderly patients. Patients and caregivers are currently an untapped source of clinical content feedback. The purpose of this study was to determine whether patients/caregivers could accurately complete a postassessment evaluation of trainees’ clinical performance.MethodThe authors developed the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Guide (CGAG) consisting of 36 yes/no/don’t-remember questions that prompt the patient/caregiver to indicate what topics the trainee discussed during clinical assessment. In 2010, two raters independently listened to audio recordings of 10 trainee-administered clinical assessments, scoring them using the CGAG to determine interrater reliability. Next, 32 patients/caregivers completed a CGAG after a trainee-administered clinical assessment. Then, the authors compared the results with a “gold standard” CGAG of the encounter.ResultsInterrater reliability for the CGAG was high (90.4% agreement), indicating that the patients/caregivers were able to accurately complete the postassessment CGAG. Of 36 CGAG questions, 30 had patient/caregiver and gold standard agreement of over 80%; the remaining 6 had low agreement.ConclusionsPatients and caregivers were able to recall sufficient clinical assessment detail to potentially provide constructive feedback to medical trainees on their assessment skills via the CGAG. Six questions with low agreement will be reworded to improve clarity on future versions of the CGAG. Future investigations will help determine whether use of the CGAG during medical education may help trainees improve assessment performance and allow educators to track progress in geriatric competencies.

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