Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 29 in total

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  1. Chew KS, van Merrienboer JJG, Durning SJ
    BMC Med Educ, 2017 Nov 29;17(1):234.
    PMID: 29187172 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-017-1078-x
    BACKGROUND: A key challenge clinicians face when considering differential diagnoses is whether the patient data have been adequately collected. Insufficient data may inadvertently lead to premature closure of the diagnostic process. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that the application of a mnemonic checklist helps to stimulate more patient data collection, thus leading to better diagnostic consideration.

    METHODS: A total of 88 final year medical students were assigned to either an educational intervention group or a control group in a non-equivalent group post-test only design. Participants in the intervention group received a tutorial on the use of a mnemonic checklist aimed to minimize cognitive errors in clinical decision-making. Two weeks later, the participants in both groups were given a script concordance test consisting of 10 cases, with 3 items per case, to assess their clinical decisions when additional data are given in the case scenarios.

    RESULTS: The Mann-Whitney U-test performed on the total scores from both groups showed no statistical significance (U = 792, z = -1.408, p = 0.159). When comparisons were made for the first half and the second half of the SCT, it was found that participants in the intervention group performed significantly better than participants in the control group in the first half of the test, with median scores of 9.15 (IQR 8.00-10.28) vs. 8.18 (IQR 7.16-9.24) respectively, U = 642.5, z = -2.661, p = 0.008. No significant difference was found in the second half of the test, with the median score of 9.58 (IQR 8.90-10.56) vs. 9.81 (IQR 8.83-11.12) for the intervention group and control group respectively (U = 897.5, z = -0.524, p = 0.60).

    CONCLUSION: Checklist use in differential diagnoses consideration did show some benefit. However, this benefit seems to have been traded off by the time and effort in using it. More research is needed to determine whether this benefit could be translated into clinical practice after repetitive use.

  2. Ahmadi K, Reidpath DD, Allotey P, Hassali MAA
    BMC Med Educ, 2016 May 30;16:155.
    PMID: 27240562 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-016-0676-3
    BACKGROUND: The attitudes of healthcare professionals towards HIV positive patients and high risk groups are central to the quality of care and therefore to the management of HIV/AIDS related stigma in health settings. Extant HIV/AIDS stigma scales that measure stigmatising attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS have been developed using scaling techniques such as principal component analysis. This approach has resulted in instruments that are often long. Mokken scale analysis is a nonparametric hierarchical scaling technique that can be used to develop unidimensional cumulative scales. This technique is advantageous over the other approaches; as the scales are usually shorter, while retaining acceptable psychometric properties. Moreover, Mokken scales also make no distributional assumptions about the underlying data, other than that the data are capable of being ordered by item and by person. In this study we aimed at developing a precise and concise measure of HIV/AIDS related stigma among health care professionals, using Mokken scale analysis.
    METHODS: We carried out a cross sectional survey of healthcare students at the Monash University campuses in Malaysia and Australia. The survey consisted of demographic questions and an initial item pool of twenty five potential questions for inclusion in an HIV stigma scale.
    RESULTS: We analysed the data using the mokken package in the R statistical environment providing a 9-item scale with high reliability, validity and acceptable psychometric properties, measuring and ranking the HIV/AIDS related stigmatising attitudes.
    CONCLUSION: Mokken scaling procedure not only produced a comprehensive hierarchical scale that could accurately order a person along HIV/AIDS stigmatising attitude, but also demonstrated a unidimensional and reliable measurement tool which could be used in future studies. The principal component analysis confirmed the accuracy of the Mokken scale analysis in correctly detecting the unidimensionality of this scale. We recommend future works to study the generalisability of this scale in a new population.
  3. Singh S, Pai DR, Sinha NK, Kaur A, Soe HH, Barua A
    BMC Med Educ, 2013;13:128.
    PMID: 24044727 DOI: 10.1186/1472-6920-13-128
    Effective teaching in medicine is essential to produce good quality doctors. A number of studies have attempted to identify the characteristics of an effective teacher. However, most of literature regarding an effective medical teacher includes student ratings or expert opinions. Furthermore, interdisciplinary studies for the same are even fewer. We did a cross-sectional study of the characteristics of effective teachers from their own perspective across medicine and dentistry disciplines.
  4. Chew BH, Zain AM, Hassan F
    BMC Med Educ, 2013;13:44.
    PMID: 23537129 DOI: 10.1186/1472-6920-13-44
    BACKGROUND: Research on emotional intelligence (EI) suggests that it is associated with more pro-social behavior, better academic performance and improved empathy towards patients. In medical education and clinical practice, EI has been related to higher academic achievement and improved doctor-patient relationships. This study examined the effect of EI on academic performance in first- and final-year medical students in Malaysia.
    METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study using an objectively-scored measure of EI, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). Academic performance of medical school students was measured using continuous assessment (CA) and final examination (FE) results. The first- and final-year students were invited to participate during their second semester. Students answered a paper-based demographic questionnaire and completed the online MSCEIT on their own. Relationships between the total MSCEIT score to academic performance were examined using multivariate analyses.
    RESULTS: A total of 163 (84 year one and 79 year five) medical students participated (response rate of 66.0%). The gender and ethnic distribution were representative of the student population. The total EI score was a predictor of good overall CA (OR 1.01), a negative predictor of poor result in overall CA (OR 0.97), a predictor of the good overall FE result (OR 1.07) and was significantly related to the final-year FE marks (adjusted R(2) = 0.43).
    CONCLUSIONS: Medical students who were more emotionally intelligent performed better in both the continuous assessments and the final professional examination. Therefore, it is possible that emotional skill development may enhance medical students' academic performance.
  5. Lim WK
    BMC Med Educ, 2012;12:89.
    PMID: 23009729 DOI: 10.1186/1472-6920-12-89
    Problem-based learning (PBL) has become the most significant innovation in medical education of the past 40 years. In contrast to exam-centered, lecture-based conventional curricula, PBL is a comprehensive curricular strategy that fosters student-centred learning and the skills desired in physicians. The rapid spread of PBL has produced many variants. One of the most common is 'hybrid PBL' where conventional teaching methods are implemented alongside PBL. This paper contends that the mixing of these two opposing educational philosophies can undermine PBL and nullify its positive benefits. Schools using hybrid PBL and lacking medical education expertise may end up with a dysfunctional curriculum worse off than the traditional approach.
  6. Lai NM, Teng CL
    BMC Med Educ, 2011;11:25.
    PMID: 21619672 DOI: 10.1186/1472-6920-11-25
    BACKGROUND: Previous studies report various degrees of agreement between self-perceived competence and objectively measured competence in medical students. There is still a paucity of evidence on how the two correlate in the field of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM). We undertook a cross-sectional study to evaluate the self-perceived competence in EBM of senior medical students in Malaysia, and assessed its correlation to their objectively measured competence in EBM.
    METHODS: We recruited a group of medical students in their final six months of training between March and August 2006. The students were receiving a clinically-integrated EBM training program within their curriculum. We evaluated the students' self-perceived competence in two EBM domains ("searching for evidence" and "appraising the evidence") by piloting a questionnaire containing 16 relevant items, and objectively assessed their competence in EBM using an adapted version of the Fresno test, a validated tool. We correlated the matching components between our questionnaire and the Fresno test using Pearson's product-moment correlation.
    RESULTS: Forty-five out of 72 students in the cohort (62.5%) participated by completing the questionnaire and the adapted Fresno test concurrently. In general, our students perceived themselves as moderately competent in most items of the questionnaire. They rated themselves on average 6.34 out of 10 (63.4%) in "searching" and 44.41 out of 57 (77.9%) in "appraising". They scored on average 26.15 out of 60 (43.6%) in the "searching" domain and 57.02 out of 116 (49.2%) in the "appraising" domain in the Fresno test. The correlations between the students' self-rating and their performance in the Fresno test were poor in both the "searching" domain (r = 0.13, p = 0.4) and the "appraising" domain (r = 0.24, p = 0.1).
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides supporting evidence that at the undergraduate level, self-perceived competence in EBM, as measured using our questionnaire, does not correlate well with objectively assessed EBM competence measured using the adapted Fresno test.
    STUDY REGISTRATION: International Medical University, Malaysia, research ID: IMU 110/06.
  7. Tiong JJL, Kho HL, Mai CW, Lau HL, Hasan SS
    BMC Med Educ, 2018 Jul 17;18(1):168.
    PMID: 30016945 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-018-1274-3
    BACKGROUND: This study was carried out to gauge the prevalence of academic dishonesty among academics in Malaysian universities. A direct comparison was made between academics of healthcare and non-healthcare courses to note the difference in the level of academic integrity between the two groups. In addition, the predisposing factors and implications of academic dishonesty, as well as the different measures perceived to be effective at curbing this problem were also investigated.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional study design with mixed qualitative and quantitative approaches was employed and data collection was carried out primarily using self-administered questionnaire.

    RESULTS: Approximately half (52.5%, n = 74) of all respondents (n = 141) reported having personally encountered at least one case of academic dishonesty involving their peers. The results also revealed the significantly higher prevalence of various forms of academic misconduct among healthcare academics compared to their non-healthcare counterparts. Although respondents were generally conscious of the negative implications associated with academic dishonesty, more than half of all cases of misconduct were not reported due to the indifferent attitude among academics. Low levels of self-discipline and integrity were found to be the major factors leading to academic misdeeds and respondents opined that university managements should be more proactive in addressing this issue.

    CONCLUSIONS: The outcome of this study should serve as a clarion call for all relevant stakeholders to start making immediate amends in order to improve the current state of affairs in academia.

  8. Salari M, Roozbehi A, Zarifi A, Tarmizi RA
    BMC Med Educ, 2018 Aug 10;18(1):195.
    PMID: 30097035 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-018-1305-0
    BACKGROUND: Nursing education in Iran has conventionally focused on lecture-based strategies. Improvements in teaching and learning over the years have led to an expansion of the pedagogies available to educators. Likewise, there has been a suggestion for a move toward more learner-centered teaching strategies and pedagogies that can result in improvement in learning. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of Problem-Based Learning in developing cognitive skills in learning Pediatric Nursing among university students.

    METHODS: In this quasi-experimental, posttest-only nonequivalent control group design, the subjects were undergraduate students who had enrolled in Pediatric Nursing II at Islamic Azad University in Iran. The experiment was conducted over a period of eight weeks, one two-hour session and two two-hour sessions. Two experimental groups, Pure Problem-Based Learning (PPBL) and the Hybrid Problem- Based Learning (HPBL), and one Lecturing or Conventional Teaching and Learning (COTL) group were involved. In the PPBL group, PBL method with guided questions and a tutor, and in the HPBL group, problem-based learning method, some guided questions, minimal lecturing and a tutor were used. The COTL group, however, underwent learning using conventional instruction utilizing full lecture. The three groups were compared on cognitive performances, namely, test performance, mental effort, and instructional efficiency. Two instruments, i.e., Pediatric Nursing Performance Test (PNPT) and Paas Mental Effort Rating Scale (PMER) were used. In addition, the two-Dimensional Instructional Efficiency Index (IEI) formula was utilized. The statistical analyses used were ANOVA, ANCOVA, and mixed between-within subjects ANOVA.

    RESULTS: Results showed that the PPBL and HPBL instructional methods, in comparison with COTL, enhanced the students' overall and higher-order performances in Pediatric Nursing, and induced higher level of instructional efficiency with less mental effort (p 

  9. Salim H, Lee PY, Ghazali SS, Ching SM, Ali H, Shamsuddin NH, et al.
    BMC Med Educ, 2018 Aug 29;18(1):206.
    PMID: 30157829 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-018-1315-y
    BACKGROUND: Blended learning (BL) is a learning innovation that applies the concept of face-to-face learning and online learning. However, examples of these innovations are still limited in the teaching of postgraduate education within the field of family medicine. Malaysian postgraduate clinical training, is an in-service training experience and face-to-face teaching with the faculty members can be challenging. Given this, we took the opportunity to apply BL in their training. This study provides an exploration of the perceptions of the educators and students toward the implementation of BL.

    METHODS: A qualitative approach was employed using focus group discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews (IDI) at an academic centre that trains family physicians. Twelve trainees, all of whom were in their hospital specialty's rotations and five faculty members were purposively selected. Three FGDs among the trainees, one FGD and two IDIs among the faculty members were conducted using a semi-structured topic guide. Data were collected through audio-recorded interviews, transcribed verbatim and checked for accuracy. A thematic approach was used to analyse the data.

    RESULTS: There were four main themes that emerged from the analysis. Both educators and trainees bill the perspective that BL encouraged continuity in learning. They agreed that BL bridges the gap in student-teacher interactions. Although educators perceived that BL is in concordance with trainees learning style, trainees felt differently about this. Some educators and trainees perceived BL to be an extra burden in teaching and learning.

    CONCLUSION: This study highlights a mix positive and negative perceptions of BL by educators and trainees. BL were perceived positively for continuity in learning and student-teacher interaction. However, educator and learner have mismatched perception of learning style. BL was also perceived to cause extra burden to both educators and learners. Integrating BL to a traditional learning curriculum is still a challenge. By knowing the strengths of BL in this setting, family medicine trainees in Malaysia can use it to enhance their current learning experience. Future study can investigate different pedagogical designs that suit family medicine trainees and educators in promoting independent learning in postgraduate training.

  10. Ismail MA, Ahmad A, Mohammad JA, Fakri NMRM, Nor MZM, Pa MNM
    BMC Med Educ, 2019 Jun 25;19(1):230.
    PMID: 31238926 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-019-1658-z
    BACKGROUND: Gamification is an increasingly common phenomenon in education. It is a technique to facilitate formative assessment and to promote student learning. It has been shown to be more effective than traditional methods. This phenomenological study was conducted to explore the advantages of gamification through the use of the Kahoot! platform for formative assessment in medical education.

    METHODS: This study employed a phenomenological design. Five focus groups were conducted with medical students who had participated in several Kahoot! sessions.

    RESULTS: Thirty-six categories and nine sub-themes emerged from the focus group discussions. They were grouped into three themes: attractive learning tool, learning guidance and source of motivation.

    CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that Kahoot! sessions motivate students to study, to determine the subject matter that needs to be studied and to be aware of what they have learned. Thus, the platform is a promising tool for formative assessment in medical education.

  11. Chew KS, van Merrienboer JJG, Durning SJ
    BMC Med Educ, 2019 Jan 10;19(1):18.
    PMID: 30630472 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-018-1451-4
    BACKGROUND: Establishing a diagnosis is a complex, iterative process involving patient data gathering, integration and interpretation. Premature closure is a fallacious cognitive tendency of closing the diagnostic process before sufficient data have been gathered. A proposed strategy to minimize premature closure is the use of a checklist to trigger metacognition (the process of monitoring one's own thinking). A number of studies have suggested the effectiveness of this strategy in classroom settings. This qualitative study examined the perception of usability of a metacognitive mnemonic checklist called TWED checklist (where the letter "T = Threat", "W = What if I am wrong? What else?", "E = Evidence" and "D = Dispositional influence") in a real clinical setting.

    METHOD: Two categories of participants, i.e., medical doctors (n = 11) and final year medical students (Group 1, n = 5; Group 2, n = 10) participated in four separate focus group discussions. Nielsen's 5 dimensions of usability (i.e. learnability, effectiveness, memorability, errors, and satisfaction) and Pentland's narrative network were adapted as the framework to study the usability and the implementation of the checklist in a real clinical setting respectively.

    RESULTS: Both categories (medical doctors and medical students) of participants found that the TWED checklist was easy to learn and effective in promoting metacognition. For medical student participants, items "T" and "W" were believed to be the two most useful aspects of the checklist, whereas for the doctor participants, it was item "D". Regarding its implementation, item "T" was applied iteratively, items "W" and "E" were applied when the outcomes did not turn out as expected, and item "D" was applied infrequently. The one checkpoint where all four items were applied was after the initial history taking and physical examination had been performed to generate the initial clinical impression.

    CONCLUSION: A metacognitive checklist aimed to check cognitive errors may be a useful tool that can be implemented in the real clinical setting.

  12. Yadav H, Jegasothy R, Ramakrishnappa S, Mohanraj J, Senan P
    BMC Med Educ, 2019 Jun 18;19(1):218.
    PMID: 31215454 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-019-1662-3
    BACKGROUND: Ethical behavior and professionalism is an ideal characteristic required of medical students and included as 'must achieve' and critical aspect of medical students' curriculum. This study proposes to determine the perceived unethical and unprofessional behavior among medical students in a private medical university from year 1 to year 5 of the medical curriculum.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among year 1 to year 5 medical students in a private medical university. A self-administered questionnaire was used with the 3 major domains of professionalism and ethics i.e. discipline plagiarism and cheating.

    RESULTS: A total of 464 respondents responded to the survey and they included medical students from year 1 and year 2 (pre-clinical) and years 3-5 (clinical years). Majority of the students, 275 (59.2%) answered that they had not seen any form of unethical behavior among other students. The females seem to have a larger number 172(63%) among the same gender compared to the males. Majority 352 (75%) of them had not heard of the 'Code of Professional Conduct by the Malaysian Medical Council'. About fifty three (53.1%) of the students answered that the training was sufficient.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the perception of unethical behavior was 58.8% in the 1st year (pre-clinical) and it increased to 65.2% in the 5th year (clinical). The 3 main discipline issues were students do not show interest in class (mean 2.9/4), they are rude to other students (mean 2.8/4) and talking during class (mean 2.6/4). Despite the existence of unethical behavior among the students majority of them (71.7%) claimed that they had adequate training in ethics and professionalism. It is proposed that not only the teaching of ethics and professionalism be reviewed but an assessment strategy be introduced to strengthen the importance of professionalism and ethics.

  13. Mohd S, Yusof N, Lai LL, Hossain MG, Ramalingam S, Hamid SSA, et al.
    BMC Med Educ, 2019 Jul 01;19(1):238.
    PMID: 31262281 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-019-1685-9
    BACKGROUND: Procurement of bone allograft must be performed by trained personnel. Improper handling and lack of knowledge during bone procurement will lead to contamination hence jeopardizing quality of the procured bones and expose bone recipients to risks of infection in post-operative phase. Bone procurement workshop is the fundamental training programme to enhance skill among personnel who has been or will be involved in bone procurement. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the workshop contents including teaching materials by assessing the knowledge on bone procurement among the participants before and after the workshop.

    METHODS: Bone procurement workshop was held for 2 days for doctors and paramedics. The knowledge on bone procurement was evaluated in pre- and post-assessments by answering self administration questionnaire before and after the workshop, respectively.

    RESULTS: A total of 50 participants comprised of doctors and paramedics attended the workshop however only 15 (55.6%) doctors and 12 (44.4%) paramedics completed the assessments. Overall, the mean total score for the post-assessment (61.4%) was significantly higher (p 

  14. Chanakit T, Low BY, Wongpoowarak P, Moolasarn S, Anderson C
    BMC Med Educ, 2015;15:181.
    PMID: 26498661 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-015-0471-6
    Thai pharmacy education has moved to an all Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programme. However, there has been no previous research about the perceptions regarding the suitability of PharmD graduates employed in hospital settings, which is the major pharmacy workforce in Thailand.
  15. Chanakit T, Low BY, Wongpoowarak P, Moolasarn S, Anderson C
    BMC Med Educ, 2015 Nov 19;15:205.
    PMID: 26585968 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-015-0473-4
    BACKGROUND: Pharmacy education and pharmacy practice are facing remarkable changes following new scientific discoveries, evolving patient needs and the requirements of advanced pharmacy competency for practices. Many countries are introducing or undertaking major transformations in pharmacy education. The Thai pharmacy curriculum has been changed from a 5-year BPharm and a 6-year PharmD to only a 6-year PharmD programme. Curriculum change processes usually involve stakeholders, including both internal and external educational institutions, at all levels. This study aims to understand the experiences and perceptions of stakeholders regarding the transition to an all-PharmD programme in Thailand.

    METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Thailand with 130 stakeholders (e.g., policy makers, pharmacy experts, educators, health care providers, patients, students and parents) from August-October 2013. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using an inductive thematic analysis.

    RESULTS: Three main themes were derived from the findings: 1. influences on curriculum change (e.g., the needs of pharmacists to provide better patient care, the US-Thai consortium for the development of pharmacy education); 2. perceived benefits (e.g., improve pharmacy competencies from generalists to specialists, ready to work after graduation, providing a high quality of patient care); and 3. concerns (e.g., the higher costs of study for a longer period of time, the mismatch between the pharmacy graduates' competency and the job market's needs, insufficient preceptors and training sites, lack of practical experience of the faculty members and issues related to the separate licenses that are necessary due to the difference in the graduates' specialties).

    CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to highlight the issues surrounding the transition to the 6-year PharmD programme in Thailand, which was initiated due to the need for higher levels of competency among the nation's pharmacists. The transition was influenced by many factors. Many participants perceived benefits from the new pharmacy curriculum. However, some participants were concerned about this transition. Although most of the respondents accepted the need to go forward to the 6-year PharmD programme, designing an effective curriculum, providing a sufficient number of qualified PharmD preceptors, determining certain competencies of pharmacists in different practices and monitoring the quality of pharmacy education still need to be addressed during this transitional stage of pharmacy education in Thailand.

  16. Subramaniam A, Silong AD, Uli J, Ismail IA
    BMC Med Educ, 2015;15:129.
    PMID: 26268222 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-015-0407-1
    Effective talent development requires robust supervision. However, the effects of supervisory styles (coaching, mentoring and abusive supervision) on talent development and the moderating effects of clinical learning environment in the relationship between supervisory styles and talent development among public hospital trainee doctors have not been thoroughly researched. In this study, we aim to achieve the following, (1) identify the extent to which supervisory styles (coaching, mentoring and abusive supervision) can facilitate talent development among trainee doctors in public hospital and (2) examine whether coaching, mentoring and abusive supervision are moderated by clinical learning environment in predicting talent development among trainee doctors in public hospital.
  17. Mitra NK, Barua A
    BMC Med Educ, 2015;15:29.
    PMID: 25884641 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-015-0318-1
    BACKGROUND: The impact of web-based formative assessment practices on performance of undergraduate medical students in summative assessments is not widely studied. This study was conducted among third-year undergraduate medical students of a designated university in Malaysia to compare the effect, on performance in summative assessment, of repeated computer-based formative assessment with automated feedback with that of single paper-based formative assessment with face-to face feedback.
    METHODS: This quasi-randomized trial was conducted among two groups of undergraduate medical students who were selected by stratified random technique from a cohort undertaking the Musculoskeletal module. The control group C (n = 102) was subjected to a paper-based formative MCQ test. The experimental group E (n = 65) was provided three online formative MCQ tests with automated feedback. The summative MCQ test scores for both these groups were collected after the completion of the module.
    RESULTS: In this study, no significant difference was observed between the mean summative scores of the two groups. However, Band 1 students from group E with higher entry qualification showed higher mean score in the summative assessment. A trivial, but significant and positive correlation (r(2) = +0.328) was observed between the online formative test scores and summative assessment scores of group E. The proportionate increase of performance in group E was found to be almost double than group C.
    CONCLUSION: The use of computer based formative test with automated feedback improved the performance of the students with better academic background in the summative assessment. Computer-based formative test can be explored as an optional addition to the curriculum of pre-clinical integrated medical program to improve the performance of the students with higher academic ability.
  18. Ilic D, Nordin RB, Glasziou P, Tilson JK, Villanueva E
    BMC Med Educ, 2015;15:39.
    PMID: 25884717 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-015-0321-6
    BACKGROUND: Few studies have been performed to inform how best to teach evidence-based medicine (EBM) to medical trainees. Current evidence can only conclude that any form of teaching increases EBM competency, but cannot distinguish which form of teaching is most effective at increasing student competency in EBM. This study compared the effectiveness of a blended learning (BL) versus didactic learning (DL) approach of teaching EBM to medical students with respect to competency, self-efficacy, attitudes and behaviour toward EBM.
    METHODS: A mixed methods study consisting of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and qualitative case study was performed with medical students undertaking their first clinical year of training in EBM. Students were randomly assigned to receive EBM teaching via either a BL approach or the incumbent DL approach. Competency in EBM was assessed using the Berlin questionnaire and the 'Assessing Competency in EBM' (ACE) tool. Students' self-efficacy, attitudes and behaviour was also assessed. A series of focus groups was also performed to contextualise the quantitative results.
    RESULTS: A total of 147 students completed the RCT, and a further 29 students participated in six focus group discussions. Students who received the BL approach to teaching EBM had significantly higher scores in 5 out of 6 behaviour domains, 3 out of 4 attitude domains and 10 out of 14 self-efficacy domains. Competency in EBM did not differ significantly between students receiving the BL approach versus those receiving the DL approach [Mean Difference (MD)=-0.68, (95% CI-1.71, 0.34), p=0.19]. No significant difference was observed between sites (p=0.89) or by student type (p=0.58). Focus group discussions suggested a strong student preference for teaching using a BL approach, which integrates lectures, online learning and small group activities.
    CONCLUSIONS: BL is no more effective than DL at increasing medical students' knowledge and skills in EBM, but was significantly more effective at increasing student attitudes toward EBM and self-reported use of EBM in clinical practice. Given the various learning styles preferred by students, a multifaceted approach (incorporating BL) may be best suited when teaching EBM to medical students. Further research on the cost-effectiveness of EBM teaching modalities is required.
  19. Liew SC, Sidhu J, Barua A
    BMC Med Educ, 2015;15:44.
    PMID: 25889887 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-015-0327-0
    Learning styles and approaches of individual undergraduate medical students vary considerably and as a consequence, their learning needs also differ from one student to another. This study was conducted to identify different learning styles and approaches of pre-clinical, undergraduate medical students and also to determine the relationships of learning preferences with performances in the summative examinations.
  20. Frantz JM, Bezuidenhout J, Burch VC, Mthembu S, Rowe M, Tan C, et al.
    BMC Med Educ, 2015;15:28.
    PMID: 25879491 DOI: 10.1186/s12909-015-0320-7
    In 2008 the sub-Saharan FAIMER Regional Institute launched a faculty development programme aimed at enhancing the academic and research capacity of health professions educators working in sub-Saharan Africa. This two-year programme, a combination of residential and distance learning activities, focuses on developing the leadership, project management and programme evaluation skills of participants as well as teaching the key principles of health professions education-curriculum design, teaching and learning and assessment. Participants also gain first-hand research experience by designing and conducting an education innovation project in their home institutions. This study was conducted to determine the perceptions of participants regarding the personal and professional impact of the SAFRI programme.
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