Distance Learning Can Be as Effective as Traditional Learning for Medical Students in the Initial Assessment of Trauma Patients
Distance learning is expanding and replacing the traditional academic medical settings. Managing trauma patients seems to be a prerequisite skill for medical students. This study has been done to evaluate the efficiency of distance learning on performing the initial assessment and management in trauma patients, compared with the traditional learning among senior medical students. One hundred and twenty senior medical students enrolled in this single-blind quasi-experimental study and were equally divided into the experimental (distance learning) and control group (traditional learning). All participants did a written MCQ before the study. The control group attended a workshop with a 50-minute lecture on initial management of trauma patients and a case simulation scenario followed by a hands-on session. On the other hand, the experimental group was given a DVD with a similar 50-minute lecture and a case simulation scenario, and they also attended a hands-on session to practice the skills. Both groups were evaluated by a trauma station in an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) after a month. The performance in the experimental group was statistically better (P=0.001) in OSCE. Distance learning seems to be an appropriate adjunct to traditional learning.
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