Background: Summative assessment in postgraduate examination globally employs multiple measures. A standard-setting method decides on pass or fail based on an arbitrarily defined cut-off point on a test score, which is often content expert’s subjective judgment. Contrary to this a standard-setting strategy primarily practices two approaches, a compensatory approach, which decides on overall performance as a sum of all the test scores and a conjunctive approach that requires passing performance for each instrument. However, the challenge using multiple measures is not due to number of measurement tools but due to logic by which the measures are combined to draw inferences on pass or fail in summative assessment. Conjoint University Board of Examination of Masters’ of Otolaryngology and Head-Neck Surgery (ORL-HNS) in Malaysia also uses multiple measures to reach a passing or failing decision in summative assessment. However, the standard setting strategy of assessment is loosely and variably applied to make ultimate decision on pass or fail. To collect the evidences, the summative assessment program of Masters’ of ORL-HNS in School of Medical Sciences at Universiti Sains Malaysia was analyzed for validity to evaluate the appropriateness of decisions in postgraduate medical education in Malaysia. Methodology: A retrospective study was undertaken to evaluate the validity of the conjoint summative assessment results of part II examination of USM candidates during May 2000-May 2011. The Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression tests were used to determine the discriminant and convergent validity of assessment tools. Pearson’s correlation coefficient analyzed the association between assessment tools and the multiple linear regression compared the dominant roles of factor variables in predicting outcomes. Based on outcome of the study, reforms for standard-setting strategy are also recommended towards programming the assessment in a surgical-based discipline. Results: The correlation coefficients of MCQ and essay questions were found not significant (0.16). Long and short cases were shown to have good correlations (0.53). Oral test stood as a component to show fair correlation with written (0.39-0.42) as well as clinical component (0.50-0.66). The predictive values in written tests suggested MCQ predicted by oral (B=0.34, P
The impact of good assessment in medical education depends on how appropriately the tools measure the clinical performance and how reliable, valid and feasible they are to achieve the logical decision. The traditional methods of clinical examination using long and short cases and orals are often argued for its subjectivity, low reliability and inadequate context specificity. Oral test though comparatively more valid due to its face-to-face questions are considered less reliable for problems of unstandardized questions, inconsistent marking and lack of sufficient testing time. Development of an “objective structured clinical examination” (OSCE) was sought as a solution to these problems. But the fragmented representation of the context in a number of stations in OSCE makes it less authentic for an integrated judgment of performance. Yet another method to thought of, was the workplace-based assessment (WPBA) but it takes a snapshot as a predefined attribute of a more complex integrated assessment such as long case. However due to the problem of feasibility it is less likely that high stakes examination as summative assessment will ever be able to attain workplace-based assessment such as Mini-CEX and DOPS. A TOACS (task oriented assessment of clinical skills) format currently used in high stakes fellowship examination in one of the center and claimed to have more active role for examiners was analyzed and compared with OSCE. Author however, did not find a difference except the difference of acronyms of the two formats. Both have multiple, fragmented static or interactive stations of 5-10 minutes duration with or without examiners, patients or exhibits and a marking scheme comprising of checklist or global rating. In the backdrop of this context a new assessment format named the ‘task integrated objective structured clinical examination” or TIOSCE modified from OSCE is currently developed in School of Medical Sciences (SMS) at USM. However, it is a different version of OSCE in which though the principle concept is the same as that of an OSCE, the continuum of clinical skill’s work up of the same patient’s is followed through to test multiple short attributes of clinical competences. As it retains most of the favorable features, TIOSCE also addresses some of the odds features of OSCE.
Among most important aspects in conducting a clinical trial are random sampling and allocation of subjects. The processes could be easier if done with familiar software used for data entry and analysis instead of relying on other programs or methods. The objective of this article is to demonstrate random sampling and allocation using SPSS in step-by-step manners using examples most relevant to clinicians as well as researchers in health sciences.
Due to cost containment considerations, it is common to have medical schools being
located in buildings or campuses built for some other purposes. These buildings are converted into
medical schools which often compromising the functional architectural aspects. Objectives: The
paper examines, explores and proposes an architectural concept of a purpose-built medical school. The
architectural design proposed is sensitive to the values and norms of many schools around the globe.
Methods: An Internet search and personal communication were conducted, focusing on the concepts
of the functionality of medical school. It emphasises on general design of the main building, keeping
in mind the various kinds of teaching, learning and assessment activities. We examined lecture hall,
pre-clinical laboratory, skill laboratory, general facilities of Objective Structured Practical Examination
(OSPE) and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Results: We present hypothetical
structural designs based on built-functions concepts. For example, for the better vision of students
around a demonstration table, an inclined floor surface is proposed. The concept is as illustrated by
anatomy dissection area built inclined upward from the cadaver table. It inevitably provides a better
visual access to the students around the table. Other teaching and learning areas are also illustrated
wherever appropriate in the text. Conclusion: The paper is hypothetical and explores innovative
structural designs of modern medical schools. While most are built to meet the demands of current
technology, it cannot however completely replace face-to-face teaching and learning processes.
Research in architectural designs of education buildings and facilities may be further developed into a
new research niche of medical education.
Introduction: The academic life of medical students can be considered as psychological toxic. About half of United States medical students experience burnout and more than 25% experience depression. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of burnout among medical students in a Malaysian medical school and its associated factors.
Methods: This is a cross sectional study of 452 medical students from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Copenhagen Burnout Inventory was distributed via Google Forms through Facebook Messenger. Ethical approval was obtained from the Human Research Ethics Committee USM. Data were collected via Google Sheets. Each respondent only submitted one Google Form as no resubmission link was provided once completed Google Form was submitted.
Result: The prevalence of burnout among USM medical students was 67.9%. Personal burnout was the highest (81.6%), followed by work-related burnout (73.7%) and client-related burnout (68.6%). The analysis showed that regardless of year of study, gender and ethnicity (all P > 0.05), USM medical students were vulnerable to burnout.
Conclusion: The prevalence of burnout among USM medical students was high and the most prevalent type of burnout was personal burnout. Therefore, burnout among medical students should be a concern and must be addressed to prevent subsequent unwanted consequences.
In today’s challenging and highly complex health care settings nurses must be able to think critically.
With the current traditional and rote methods of learning, the critical thinking skills among the
students are seen to diminish. As nurse educators must find a different method in their teaching on
how to encourage students to engage in analytical thinking and how to make the analytical thinking
process part of their daily practice due to increase safety of the patients. This will give challenge for
the nurse educators to reshape education by adopting instructional strategies to equip students with
foundational knowledge in critical thinking, creative problem solving and collaboration. Through
concept mapping, students should be able to transfer applied didactic objectives from the classroom
to the clinical practice, where critical thinking and problem solving skills are needed for success. It also
provide nurse educators with the ability to help students learn how to organise data, prioritise patient
needs and can relate patient medical illness and nursing intervention.
Breaking bad news is a crucial communication delivered by healthcare professionals. This skill was
taught in Management and Science University, Malaysia using lecture previously. Realising the
instructional delivery gap, breaking bad news workshops was introduced involving not only the theory
of the skills but the hands on experience as well. This workshop incorporated peer-assisted learning
method in providing a friendly and conducive environment for the best learning experience for the
students. Five workshops were conducted with a total of 204 students. Students (n = 38–42 per
session) were given materials a week prior to the session to familiarise themselves with the workshop.
Trained peer-assisted tutors (n = 8) guided role-playing sessions as well as giving feedbacks. Students
found that the workshop to be useful adjunct to learning communication skills, specifically in breaking
bad news. Students considered peer-assisted learning method provided them with a safe environment
where mistakes were allowed, corrected and proper skills reiterated. In conclusion, learning breaking
bad news is feasible with peer-assistance.
Psychosocial issues have been seen as minor in medicine despite the importance for holistic medical
care involving emotional, spiritual and psychological domains. Most patients with chronic conditions
have complex and complicated psychosocial needs especially when dealing children with life limiting
conditions. These needs have a dynamic extension to patients’ care as their impact can also affect the
extended family members. Across the trajectory of the illnesses, the pattern of psychosocial needs
changes and, this demands attending physicians to perform accurate psychosocial assessment and
understanding issues from patients and caregivers perspective. Non-judgmental decision making
is essential to avoid friction and misunderstanding between the healthcare providers and caregivers
especially during the consultative process. Resolving psychosocial issue may involve various techniques
from moral support, bridging the services to helping the family, counseling on relationship issues and
many other areas. There is a need to equip healthcare workers with different skills in order to deliver a
better psychosocial care and input even after the bereavement period.
House officers who are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression are at risk of harm to themselves, colleagues and even patients, as well as affecting their livelihood. Objective: This
study is aimed to find the prevalence of stress, anxiety and depression among house officers working
in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Method: A cross-sectional study was done using a self-administered
questionnaire containing socio-demographic factors and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS)
21. Results: Prevalence of stress, anxiety and depression were 57.1%, 63.7%, and 42.9% respectively. Multiple logistic regression analysis found that house officers who thought of quitting Housemanship was associated with stress (adjusted OR = 3.64, 95% CI: (1.44, 9.20), p = 0.006), and depression (adjusted OR = 8.26, 95% CI: (2.96, 23.02), p < 0.001). House officers who perceives that they are bullied is associated with anxiety (adjusted OR = 4.16, 95% CI: (1.33, 13.07), p = 0.015). Work
experience of the house officers in months have a protective effect to stress (adjusted OR = 0.92, 95%
CI: (0.87, 0.97), p = 0.004), anxiety (adjusted OR = 0.93, 95% CI: (0.88, 0.98), p = 0.006) and
depression (adjusted OR = 0.92, 95% CI: (0.87, 0.98), p = 0.006). Conclusion: The prevalence of
stress, anxiety and depression among house officers in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah is high. Management
should look into the findings and understand the importance of addressing this problem as it may
affect patient care and safety, and the livelihood of house officers. Future studies identifying why
house officers are thinking of quitting service and why they do feel that they are being bullied may be
Introduction: USMaP-i is an English, 66-item self-administered inventory, consisting of personality
(60 items, 5 factors) and faking (one factor) components, which was mainly developed to measure
personality traits among Malaysian students based on local cultures and values. The personality
component was based on the Big Five dimensions as suggested by numerous personality researchers.
Previous exploratory studies showed promising validity, reliability and stability of USMaP-i.
Objective: To provide further validity evidence of USMaP-i for use among medical degree program
applicants by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Methods: Data were collected as a part of screening
of medical degree program applicants for year 2010–2013 intakes in Universiti Sains Malaysia
(USM), of which 657 cases were suitable for analyses following a data screening measures. CFA was
performed by bootstrap maximum likelihood estimation due to non-normality of items at multivariate
level. Results: Although the revised five-factor model of personality showed good model fit (X2(df) =
144.36(55), P-value < 0.001; CFI = .944, TLI = .921; RMSEA = .050; SRMR = .032, Bollen-Stine
bootstrap P-value = 0.004), the reliability of the factors is very poor (composite reliabilities (CR) =
.483 to .650). In contrast, the unidimensional faking component exhibited good model fit (X2(df)
= 14.15(5), P-value = 0.015; CFI = .984, TLI = .968; RMSEA = .053; SRMR = .011, BollenStine
bootstrap P-value = 0.068) and factor reliability (CR = 0.731). Conclusion: The personality
component should be revised and revalidated due to poor reliability, despite showing good model fit.
In contrast, the faking component showed good model fit and reliability. Further validation studies are
recommended before its use among medical degree program applicants.
INTRODUCTION: Stress is a particularly important issue in education because it has the potential to decline learning and performance. However, little empirical evidence about the influence of stress in nurse students’ clinical practices.
Methods: There are 346 totals of respondents for this study. Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), which have six domains of stressors and Brief COPE inventory, consisted of 28 items which measure 14 different coping styles was used. By using Likert scale in order to measure the degree of stress for each stressor. Higher mean score indicates higher degree of stress.
Results: In this study, stress from clinical assignments and workload was the most stressful having by nursing students (Mean = 3.19, SD = 1.09). Among the 14 types of coping strategies, religion was the most frequently used, religion (Mean = 3.30, SD = 0.71).
Conclusion: The results provided valuable information for nurse educators, clinical educators and clinical staff in identifying students’ needs, facilitating their learning in the clinical setting and developing effective interventions to reduce the stress. Therefore it is important, especially nursing students can handle the pressure because it will affect the level of achievement in academic and thereby affecting student skills in the field of clinical nursing. And this affects the care of patients.
The Delphi technique is a widely used and accepted method for gathering data from participantswithin domain of expertise. The objective of this study is to discuss the process of the three roundsDelphi technique in seeking a consensus of concept mapping structure and Multiple Choice Questions(MCQ) in Diabetic Mellitus subject. In the first, round, participants were given a structuredquestionnaire regarding item of concept mapping structure and MCQ in Diabetic Mellitus subject.The second were added mean and median value of round one. In the third round were add meanand median value of round two were added. Participants were asked to rate the categorised responsesfrom Round 1 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “Very irrelevant” and 5 being “Very relevant”. Thistechnique does not require participants to meet face-to-face, thereby making it useful to conductsurveys with qualified people over a wide geographic area. The feedback process allows and encouragesthe selected Delphi participants to reassess their initial judgements about the information providedin previous iterations. Data is then analysed to check for consistency of experts’ responses betweenrounds. Instrument developed from the Delphi technique research findings is also examined forvalidation from experts in educational medical health sciences on content and constructs validity.Analysis on the consensus of data from experts was based on median, inter quartile range and quartiledeviation on Round 1, 2 and 3 data. Therefore, the Delphi technique is an appropriate method foridentifying significant issues related with academic.
To address the diverse preferred learning styles, one of the oft-cited recommendations for educatorsis to tailor teaching instructions accordingly. This pedagogy however, lacks scientific evidences.Furthermore, in medical curriculum, tailoring instructions according to preferred learning styles isnot pragmatic. This is because different subjects and in different settings matter may be best deliveredin specific delivery mode. Furthermore, patients’ presentations are often multi-sensorial. As such, theonus is on the students themselves to adjust the amount of learning efforts they put in according totheir preferred or not preferred learning styles.
Introduction: Student selection is important for selecting the best candidates into medical courses.
The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) is a valid selection tool for the task. The School of Medical
Sciences (SMS), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has employed MMI as a medical admission
tool to select potential candidates into its medical program. Objective: This paper described the
implementation of the MMI and reported the preliminary evaluation data on its validity evidence.
Method: A 9-station MMI (with 5 manned and 4 rest stations) was employed for the 2015 student
selection exercise. Interview data were analysed and questionnaire surveys were administered to both
interviewers and candidates. Validity, reliability, feasibility and acceptability were determined. Results:
Unidimensional construct on confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and interviewer comments provided
evidence of construct validity. Overall reliability was 0.94, good enough for high-stakes decisions.
Interviewers and candidates’ comments on feasibility and acceptability were also generally positive.
The consistency of the difficulty and discrimination indices of similar stations between sessions was
identified as among the areas for improvement. Conclusions: We are cautiously optimistic regarding
the utility of the MMI in the SMS; future improvements are planned but the present implementation
seems sufficient for the stated purposes
Objective: To determine the factor structure of the Health Promoting Behaviours (HPB) component of Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile-II among undergraduate students in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).
Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among undergraduate students. The data was collected in the USM campus using a proportionate cluster sampling method. The HPB questionnaire was handed to students in the lecture hall and collected immediately when the lecture finished. CFA was conducted using robust maximum likelihood estimation due to violation of multivariate normality assumption. A three-factor model was tested for measurement model validity and construct validity.
Results: A total of 788 students participated in the study. CFA of a 21-item, three-factor model yielded an adequate goodness-of-fit values. The measurement model also showed a good convergent and discriminant validity after model re-specification.
Conclusion: The health promoting behaviours scale was proven to have a valid measurement model and reliable constructs. It was deemed suitable for use to measure the health promoting behaviours components of a healthy lifestyle among Malaysian undergraduate students. It was recommended to further conduct cross-validation studies in other Malaysian public universities to provide additional empirical evidence to support its use.
Introduction: Palliative care teaching has little emphasis during the undergraduate period. Most
teachings in medical school are geared towards preventive and curative approach. Competency in
palliative care including therapeutic and effective communication has been the taught indirectly
without emphasis on other areas. We investigate medical students’ preparedness on palliative care
subjects using past studies questionnaire to evaluate knowledge, attitudes and understanding on end
of life issues. Method: Cross sectional study was performed on the final year medical students (class
2015) from a public university in the northern state of Peninsular Malaysia. Proforma was adopted
from the previously published studies covering the aspect of knowledge, attitude, end-of-life, advanced
directive and bioethical principles in palliative care. Conceptual framework of final year medical
students’ preparedness was ascertained following impartment of palliative care knowledge, either
directly or indirectly, after the exposure and completion of the clinical attachment. Results: The
study elicited a 78.5% response rate where 133 students replied out of 177 total students. Overall the
knowledge and attitude of palliative care were good. There were some misconceptions especially the
use of morphine and role of physician in the management of dying patients. Conclusion: There were
gaps identified following the completion of the study. Misunderstanding in different aspect of care
should be remedied with more exposure and practicality suitable to undergraduate medical curriculum
Reflection is a process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse and evaluate information. This leads to critical reflection which one can view and focus on self-experience within the context of his/her own life. Objective: The study aims to understand palliative care values with the use of reflective diary following home visit to patients who require palliative care.
Method: Interview was performed during the house visit by the undergraduate medical students. This outreach house visits were supervised under community palliative care nurse. The students were required to develop a learning activity, using assessment of palliative care patients’ needs, through qualitative questionnaire. This was recorded in the reflective diary upon return of such activity. The questions asked covered explorative learning and holistic medical tasks such as the impact of patient’s life from emotional, psychosocial, medical and spiritual perspective. Guided questioning was done to avoid
unnecessary communication issues that may aggravate emotional distress. Students were asked to probe using vetted and agreed questions, and explore multidimensional issues in relation to culturally naïve Kelantanese population.
Result: Enjoyful learning experience was recorded. The reality of thisdealing with patients with chronic disease has put forth a positive intention to perform better as future doctors.
Conclusion: Reflective diary is an effective tool in community palliative care learning. It documents patients’ plight and students’ sense of responsibility to community. This has invaluable and indirect learning impact as part of the students’ soft skills development.
Introduction: Pregnancy is common among women in the reproductive age and is associated with several risks. Preconception care has thus been introduced to promote health before conception and to improve pregnancy-related outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding preconception care among women attending antenatal care appointments. Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study conducted from April to December 2012 at Klinik Kesihatan Bachok. A self-administered questionnaire was administered to 135 respondents from 18 to 45 years of age. The questionnaire consisted of four domains, assessing socio-demographic data and knowledge, attitudes and practice of preconception care. Results: The mean (SD) knowledge, attitude and practice scores were 11.37 (3.94), 15.39 (2.12) and 10.13 (2.30), respectively. In total, 98.5% of the respondents had good attitudes, 45.2% had good practices, and 51.9% had good knowledge of preconception care. Conclusion: Women in Bachok have fair knowledge of and good attitude towards preconception care. However, they have poor preconception care practices.
Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a rare cause of childhood stridor which typically presents before the age of five years and results from the vertical transmission of the human papilloma virus. Genotypes 11 and 6 are commonly implicated in RRP. Following vertical transmission, the human papilloma virus (HPV) causes overgrowth of the airway epithelium which causes partial airway obstruction and the symptoms of stridor. The mainstay management is surgical debridement of the papillomata but the recurrence rate subsequent to surgery is high, such that most children will require repeated surgical procedures at regular interval. Medical adjuvant therapy can be used, but data is limited and the medications are used on an off-label basis. This case highlights the ethical considerations that need to be made when using off-label medications in paediatric patients.
Objectives: This investigation focused on finding the changes in learning approaches of students’ while experiencing physiology curriculum and to explore the reflection of changes if any, on their critical thinking skills.
Methods: In this longitudinal study, information on students’ learning approaches was obtained using the revised two factor study process questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) at the commencement (pre-test) and completion (post-test) of first year MBBS course. The total score and the scores obtained in the critical thinking questions in four physiology assessments were analysed. Pre and post-tests scores in R-SPQ-2F and assessment scores were compared using independent samples t-test and one way repeated measure ANOVA respectively. Correlation of scores between assessments was done using Pearson correlation. A p value < 0.05 was taken as significant.
Results: A significant increase in students’ deep learning approach at the completion of the physiology curriculum when compared to commencement (p < 0.001) was observed. A progressive improvement in their scores as they experienced the curriculum was also noticed. A moderate correlation among critical thinking questions scores and a strong correlation between critical thinking questions and total essay scores were also recorded.
Conclusion: The study revealed improvement in students’ deep approach to learning in physiology which was reflected in their performance in critical thinking questions.
Study site: Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal University, India