Simulated patients (SPs) have participated successfully in nursing and medical education. The SPs portraying stressful situations may have psychological or physiological effects for several days after their performance; however, long-term effects have not been well documented in the literature. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of interpreting roles related to HIV among SPs. A qualitative descriptive approach was used for this study. Questionnaires with open-ended questions were conducted immediately after the interpretation of HIV-related roles and a year later by 10 SPs. In addition, a focus group was run a year later using a preestablished interview guide. As a result of direct content analysis, 2 major themes emerged: effects of interpreting roles relating to HIV and complexity of the roles. The findings of this study stress that interpreting an HIV-related role produces emotional, behavioral, and physical effects in SPs, at any stage during the training or performance, and has a long-term impact on their perception of their personal health and risk.
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