Evidence-based medicine (EBM) involves approaching a clinical problem using a four-step method: (1) formulate a clear clinical question from a patient’s problem, (2) search the literature for relevant clinical articles, (3) evaluate (critically appraise) the evidence for its validity and usefulness, (4) implement useful findings into clinical practice. EBM has now been incorporated as an integral part of the medical curriculum in many faculties of medicine around the world. The Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, started its process of curriculum reform and introduction of the new curriculum 4 years ago. One of the most characteristic aspects of this curriculum is the introduction of special study modules and electives as a student-selected component in the fourth year of study; the Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine course was included as one of these special study modules. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the EBM skills of medical students after completing the course and their perceptions of the faculty member delivering the course and organization of the course.
Materials and methods
The EBM course was held for the first time as a special study module for fourth-year medical students in the first semester of the academic year 2009–2010. Fifteen students were enrolled in this course. At the end of the course, students anonymously evaluated aspects of the course regarding their EBM skills and course organization using a five- point Likert scale in response to an online course evaluation questionnaire. In addition, students’ achievement was evaluated with regard to the skills and competencies taught in the course.
Medical students generally gave high scores to all aspects of the EBM course, including course organization, course delivery, methods of assessment, and overall. Scores were also high for students’ self-evaluation of skill level and EBM experience. The results of a faculty member’s evaluation of the students’ achievement showed an average total percentage (92.2%) for all EBM steps.
The EBM course at the Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, is useful for familiarizing medical students with the basic principles of EBM and to help them in answering routine questions of clinical interest in a systematic way. In light of the results obtained from implementing this course with a small number of students, and as a student-selected component, the author believes integrating EBM longitudinally throughout the curriculum would be beneficial for King Abdulaziz University medical students. It would provide a foundation of knowledge, offer easy access to resources, promote point-of-care and team learning, help students to develop applicable skills for lifelong learning, and help the faculty to achieve its goals of becoming more student-centered and encouraging students to employ more self-directed learning strategies.
student-selected component; evidence-based medicine; learning; curriculum
Evidence based medicine (EBM) is considered an integral part of medical training, but integration of teaching various EBM steps in everyday clinical practice is uncommon. Currently EBM is predominantly taught through theoretical courses, workshops and e-learning. However, clinical teachers lack confidence in teaching EBM in workplace and are often unsure of the existing opportunities for teaching EBM in the clinical setting. There is a need for continuing professional development (CPD) courses that train clinical trainers to teach EBM through on-the-job training by demonstration of applied EBM real time in clinical practice. We developed such a course to encourage clinically relevant teaching of EBM in post-graduate education in various clinical environments.
We devised an e-learning course targeting trainers with EBM knowledge to impart educational methods needed to teach application of EBM teaching in commonly used clinical settings. The curriculum development group comprised experienced EBM teachers, clinical epidemiologists, clinicians and educationalists from institutions in seven European countries. The e-learning sessions were designed to allow participants (teachers) to undertake the course in the workplace during short breaks within clinical activities. An independent European steering committee provided input into the process.
The curriculum defined specific learning objectives for teaching EBM by exploiting educational opportunities in six different clinical settings. The e-modules incorporated video clips that demonstrate practical and effective methods of EBM teaching in everyday clinical practice. The course encouraged focussed teaching activities embedded within a trainer's personal learning plan and documentation in a CPD portfolio for reflection.
This curriculum will help senior clinicians to identify and make the best use of available opportunities in everyday practice in clinical situations to teach various steps of EBM and demonstrate their applicability to clinical practice. Once fully implemented, the ultimate outcome of this pilot project will be a European qualification in teaching EBM, which will be used by doctors, hospitals, professional bodies responsible for postgraduate qualifications and continuing medical education.
In response to the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) standards set forth in 2008, osteopathic medical schools are restructuring curricula to demonstrate they are teaching the seven core competencies and integrating evidence-based medicine (EBM) throughout all 4 years of training.
To describe and evaluate the efforts of a college of osteopathic medicine to integrate EBM concepts into its curriculum while maintaining existing course content and faculty contact hours.
One-group pre- and posttest study.
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine-A.T. Still University (KCOM) in Missouri.
KCOM course directors in workshop series I (n=20) and KCOM faculty workshop series II (n=14).
A faculty development workshop series based on the diffusion of innovations model was instituted to facilitate cultural change, gain faculty support, and accelerate the implementation of EBM throughout KCOM’s curriculum.
Faculty attitudes, confidence levels, and the number of courses that included instruction of EBM concepts were measured in August 2007 and May 2008.
Faculty attitudes about integrating EBM into the curriculum and confidence levels measured pre- and postworkshop series found that 21 of 26 participants believed they improved their ability to locate primary EBM resources using the Internet; 21 of 28 improved their ability to teach EBM concepts to students. Fifteen of 16 faculty course directors agreed to find ways to incorporate EBM into their classes. Review of KCOM’s course syllabi in April 2009 demonstrated a statistically significant difference (P<.001) in the number of faculty teaching EBM concepts after the faculty development workshop series concluded in March 2008 compared to before the series commenced in March 2006. An unexpected outcome was the implementation of a faculty-conceived, standalone EBM course in fall 2007.
A workshop series based on the diffusion of innovations model is effective in garnering faculty support for the implementation of a change in curriculum that emphasizes EBM content without increasing faculty contact hours or eliminating existing curricular content. A faculty development model emphasizing a “bottom-to-top” approach is effective in achieving workplace culture changes and seamless curricular transitions. Results have shown that a consensus building model is conducive to engaging faculty and garnering its support to effect curricular change, which, ultimately, ensures success.
The College of Medicine at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS) was established in January 2004. The four-year curriculum was based on the Problem Based Learning (PBL) format and involved the web-based graduate medical program adopted from the University of Sydney, Australia. At KSAU-HS, one additional semester was added to the beginning of this curriculum to prepare the students in English language skills, PBL, Information Technology and Evidence Based Medicine (EBM). EBM is part of the Personal and Professional Development (PPD) theme of the medical curriculum and is integrated into each stage of the medical curriculum. These modifications of the University of Sydney curriculum are presented here as a model of EBM integration into a college of medicine curriculum.
Evidence based medicine (EBM); medical education; medical curriculum; epidemiology
While previous authors have emphasized the importance of integrating and reinforcing evidence-based medicine (EBM) skills in residency, there are few published examples of such curricula. We designed an EBM curriculum to train family practice interns in essential EBM skills for information mastery using clinical questions generated by the family practice inpatient service. We sought to evaluate the impact of this curriculum on interns, residents, and faculty.
Interns (n = 13) were asked to self-assess their level of confidence in basic EBM skills before and after their 2-week EBM rotation. Residents (n = 21) and faculty (n = 12) were asked to assess how often the answers provided by the EBM intern to the inpatient service changed medical care. In addition, residents were asked to report how often they used their EBM skills and how often EBM concepts and tools were used in teaching by senior residents and faculty. Faculty were asked if the EBM curriculum had increased their use of EBM in practice and in teaching.
Interns significantly increased their confidence over the course of the rotation. Residents and faculty felt that the answers provided by the EBM intern provided useful information and led to changes in patient care. Faculty reported incorporating EBM into their teaching (92%) and practice (75%). Residents reported applying the EBM skills they learned to patient care (86%) and that these skills were reinforced in the teaching they received outside of the rotation (81%). All residents and 11 of 12 faculty felt that the EBM curriculum had improved patient care.
To our knowledge, this is the first published EBM curriculum using an individual block rotation format. As such, it may provide an alternative model for teaching and incorporating EBM into a residency program.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) aims to provide skills that help physicians answer clinically important questions, determine new evidence, and incorporate the acquired knowledge in practice. EBM skills are necessary for the practice of modern medicine, since physicians should use up-to-date knowledge and information to justify their medical decisions.
We aimed to evaluate the EBM program implemented at Hacettepe University School of Medicine.
In 2004, a spiral program for the teaching and practice of EBM was developed for the first 3 years of medical school. Following this program, a practice of EBM was included in the fourth year during the surgery clerkship, after an introductory lecture. The students worked within collaborative teams of 3–5 and practiced EBM with actual cases seen in the surgical service in which they were involved. Each student was asked to complete a questionnaire that evaluated the more theoretical program from the first 3 years and the practical application in the fourth year.
Nearly half of the students stated that the preclinical years of the EBM program were ‘adequate’, but only 30% of the students indicated that the program was practical. They stated that ‘more practical approaches were used in the fourth year, whereas more theory-based approaches were used during the preclinical years’. More than 75% of the students declared that the practice of EBM in the fourth year was useful and appropriate for team-based learning.
The EBM program was evaluated as ‘adequate’. EBM courses should be included in the entire curriculum in an integrated manner. The students understand the main philosophy of EBM in the clinical year when involved in its practical application with actual patients.
evidence-based medicine; spiral curriculum; medical education
To develop and implement an evidence-based medicine (EBM) curriculum and determine its effectiveness in improving residents' EBM behaviors and skills.
Description of the curriculum and a multifaceted evaluation, including a pretest-posttest controlled trial.
University-based primary care internal medicine residency program.
Second- and third-year internal medicine residents (N =34).
A 7-week EBM curriculum in which residents work through the steps of evidence-based decisions for their own patients. Based on adult learning theory, the educational strategy included a resident-directed tutorial format, use of real clinical encounters, and specific EBM facilitating techniques for faculty.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Behaviors and self-assessed competencies in EBM were measured with questionnaires. Evidence-based medicine skills were assessed with a 17-point test, which required free text responses to questions based on a clinical vignette and a test article. After the intervention, residents participating in the curriculum (case subjects) increased their use of original studies to answer clinical questions, their examination of methods and results sections of articles, and their self-assessed EBM competence in three of five domains of EBM, while the control subjects did not. The case subjects significantly improved their scores on the EBM skills test (8.5 to 11.0, p =.001), while the control subjects did not (8.5 to 7.1, p =.09). The difference in the posttest scores of the two groups was 3.9 points (p =.001, 95% confidence interval 1.9, 5.9).
An EBM curriculum based on adult learning theory improves residents' EBM skills and certain EBM behaviors. The description and multifaceted evaluation can guide medical educators involved in EBM training.
evidence-based medicine (EBM); curriculum; residents; medical education; adult learning theory
Many medical schools teach the principles of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) as a subject within their medical curriculum. Few studies have explored the barriers and enablers that students experience when studying medicine and attempting to integrate EBM in their clinical experience. The aim of this study was to identify undergraduate medical student perceptions of EBM, including their current use of its principles as students and perceived future use as clinicians.
Third year medical students were recruited via email to participate in focus group discussions. Four focus groups were conducted separately across four hospital sites. All focus groups were conducted by the same facilitator. All discussions were transcribed verbatim, and analysed independently by the two authors according to the principles of thematic analysis.
Focus group discussions were conducted with 23 third-year medical students, representing three metropolitan and one rural hospital sites. Five key themes emerged from the analysis of the transcripts: (1) Rationale and observed use of EBM in practice, (2) Current use of EBM as students, (3) Perceived use of EBM as future clinicians, (4) Barriers to practicing EBM, and (5) Enablers to facilitate the integration of EBM into clinical practice. Key facilitators for promoting EBM to students include competency in EBM, mentorship and application to clinical disciplines. Barriers to EBM implementation include lack of visible application by senior clinicians and constraints by poor resourcing.
The principles and application of EBM is perceived by medical students to be important in both their current clinical training and perceived future work as clinicians. Future research is needed to identify how medical students incorporate EBM concepts into their clinical practice as they gain greater clinical exposure and competence.
Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is a core unit delivered across many medical schools. Few studies have investigated the most effective method of teaching a course in EBM to medical students. The objective of this study was to identify whether a blended-learning approach to teaching EBM is more effective a didactic-based approach at increasing medical student competency in EBM.
A mixed-methods study was conducted consisting of a controlled trial and focus groups with second year graduate medical students. Students received the EBM course delivered using either a didactic approach (DID) to learning EBM or a blended-learning approach (BL). Student competency in EBM was assessed using the Berlin tool and a criterion-based assessment task, with student perceptions on the interventions assessed qualitatively.
A total of 61 students (85.9%) participated in the study. Competency in EBM did not differ between the groups when assessed using the Berlin tool (p = 0.29). Students using the BL approach performed significantly better in one of the criterion-based assessment tasks (p = 0.01) and reported significantly higher self-perceived competence in critical appraisal skills. Qualitative analysis identified that students had a preference for the EBM course to be delivered using the BL approach.
Implementing a blended-learning approach to EBM teaching promotes greater student appreciation of EBM principles within the clinical setting. Integrating a variety of teaching modalities and approaches can increase student self-confidence and assist in bridging the gap between the theory and practice of EBM.
Evidence based medicine; Blended learning; Graduate medical education; Pedagogy
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is increasingly taught in medical schools, but few curricula have been evaluated using validated instruments.
To evaluate a longitudinal medical school EBM curriculum using a validated instrument.
Design, Participants, Measurements
We evaluated EBM attitudes and knowledge of 32 medical students as they progressed through an EBM curriculum. The first part was an EBM “short course” with didactic and small-group sessions occurring at the end of the second year. The second part integrated EBM assignments with third-year clinical rotations. The validated 15-item Berlin Questionnaire was administered before the course, after the short course, and at the end of the third year.
EBM knowledge scores increased from baseline by 2.8 points at the end of the second year portion of the course (p = .0001), and by 3.7 points at the end of the third year (p < .0001). Self-rated EBM knowledge increased from baseline by 0.8 and 1.1 points, respectively (p = .0006 and p < .0001, respectively). EBM was felt to be of high importance for medical education and clinical practice at all time points, peaking after the short course.
A longitudinal medical school EBM curriculum was associated with increased EBM knowledge. This knowledge increase was sustained throughout the curriculum.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0625-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
medical education; evidence-based medicine; medical school
Two of the key steps in evidence based medicine (EBM) are being able to construct a clinical question and effectively search the literature to source relevant information. No evidence currently exists that informs whether such skills should be taught to medical students during their pre-clinical years, or delivered to include both the pre-clinical and clinical years of study. This is an important component of curriculum design as the level of clinical maturity of students can affect their perception of the importance and uptake of EBM principles in practice.
A randomised controlled trial will be conducted to identify the effectiveness of delivering a formal workshop in EBM literature searching skills to third year medical students entering their clinical years of study. The primary outcome of EBM competency in literature searching skills will be evaluated using the Fresno tool.
This trial will provide novel information on the effectiveness of delivering a formal education workshop in evidence based medicine literature searching skills during the clinical years of study. The result of this study will also identify the impact of teaching EBM literature searching skills to medical students during the clinical years of study.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an important element of medical education. However, limited information is available on effective curricula.
To evaluate a longitudinal medical school EBM curriculum using validated instruments.
DESIGN, PARTICIPANTS, MEASUREMENTS
We evaluated EBM attitudes and knowledge of medical students as they progressed through an EBM curriculum. The first component of the curriculum was an EBM “short course” with didactic and small-group sessions occurring at the end of the second year. The second component integrated EBM assignments with third-year clinical rotations. The 15-point Berlin Questionnaire was administered before the course in 2006 and 2007, after the short course, and at the end of the third year. The 212-point Fresno Test was administered before the course in 2007 and 2008, after the short course, and at the end of the third year. Self-reported knowledge and attitudes were also assessed in all three classes of medical students.
EBM knowledge scores on the 15-point Berlin Questionnaire increased from baseline by 3.0 points (20.0%) at the end of the second year portion of the course (p < 001) and by 3.4 points (22.7%) at the end of the third year (p < 001). EBM knowledge scores on the 212-point Fresno Test increased from baseline by 39.7 points (18.7%) at the end of the second year portion of the course (p < 001) and by 54.6 points (25.8%) at the end of the third year (p < 001). On a 5-point scale, self-rated EBM knowledge increased from baseline by 1.0 and 1.4 points, respectively (both p < 001). EBM was felt to be of high importance for medical education and clinical practice at all time points, with increases noted after both components of the curriculum.
A longitudinal medical school EBM was associated with markedly increased EBM knowledge on two validated instruments. Both components of the curriculum were associated with gains in knowledge. The curriculum was also associated with increased perceptions of the importance of EBM for medical education and clinical practice.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-011-1642-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
medical education; evidence-based medicine; medical school
This study describes how information retrieval skills are taught in evidence-based medicine (EBM) at the undergraduate medical education (UGME) level.
The authors systematically searched MEDLINE, Scopus, Educational Resource Information Center, Web of Science, and Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews for English-language articles published between 2007 and 2012 describing information retrieval training to support EBM. Data on learning environment, frequency of training, learner characteristics, resources and information skills taught, teaching modalities, and instructor roles were compiled and analyzed.
Twelve studies were identified for analysis. Studies were set in the United States (9), Australia (1), the Czech Republic (1), and Iran (1). Most trainings (7) featured multiple sessions with trainings offered to preclinical students (5) and clinical students (6). A single study described a longitudinal training experience. A variety of information resources were introduced, including PubMed, DynaMed, UpToDate, and AccessMedicine. The majority of the interventions (10) were classified as interactive teaching sessions in classroom settings. Librarians played major and collaborative roles with physicians in teaching and designing training. Unfortunately, few studies provided details of information skills activities or evaluations, making them difficult to evaluate and replicate.
This study reviewed the literature and characterized how EBM search skills are taught in UGME. Details are provided on learning environment, frequency of training, level of learners, resources and skills trained, and instructor roles.
The results suggest a number of steps that librarians can take to improve information skills training including using a longitudinal approach, integrating consumer health resources, and developing robust assessments.
Constructing an answerable question and effectively searching the medical literature are key steps in practicing evidence-based medicine (EBM). This study aimed to identify the effectiveness of delivering a single workshop in EBM literature searching skills to medical students entering their first clinical years of study.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted with third-year undergraduate medical students. Participants were randomized to participate in a formal workshop in EBM literature searching skills, with EBM literature searching skills and perceived competency in EBM measured at one-week post-intervention via the Fresno tool and Clinical Effectiveness and Evidence-Based Practice Questionnaire.
A total of 121 participants were enrolled in the study, with 97 followed-up post-intervention. There was no statistical mean difference in EBM literature searching skills between the 2 groups (mean difference = 0.007 (P = 0.99)). Students attending the EBM workshop were significantly more confident in their ability to construct clinical questions and had greater perceived awareness of information resources.
A single EBM workshop did not result in statistically significant changes in literature searching skills. Teaching and reinforcing EBM literature searching skills during both preclinical and clinical years may result in increased student confidence, which may facilitate student use of EBM skills as future clinicians.
Over the last years key stake holders in the healthcare sector have increasingly recognised evidence based medicine (EBM) as a means to improving the quality of healthcare. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the best way to disseminate basic knowledge of EBM. As a result, huge variation in EBM educational provision, setting, duration, intensity, content, and teaching methodology exists across Europe and worldwide. Most courses for health care professionals are delivered outside the work context ('stand alone') and lack adaptation to the specific needs for EBM at the learners' workplace. Courses with modern 'adaptive' EBM teaching that employ principles of effective continuing education might fill that gap. We aimed to develop a course for post-graduate education which is clinically integrated and allows maximum flexibility for teachers and learners.
A group of experienced EBM teachers, clinical epidemiologists, clinicians and educationalists from institutions from eight European countries participated. We used an established methodology of curriculum development to design a clinically integrated EBM course with substantial components of e-learning. An independent European steering committee provided input into the process.
We defined explicit learning objectives about knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour for the five steps of EBM. A handbook guides facilitator and learner through five modules with clinical and e-learning components. Focussed activities and targeted assignments round off the learning process, after which each module is formally assessed.
The course is learner-centred, problem-based, integrated with activities in the workplace and flexible. When successfully implemented, the course is designed to provide just-in-time learning through on-the-job-training, with the potential for teaching and learning to directly impact on practice.
To characterize evidence-based medicine (EBM) curricula in internal medicine residency programs, a written survey was mailed to 417 program directors of U.S. internal medicine residency programs. For programs offering a freestanding (dedicated curricular time) EBM curriculum, the survey inquired about its objectives, format, curricular time, attendance, faculty development, resources, and evaluation. All directors responded to questions regarding integrating EBM teaching into established educational venues. Of 417 program directors, 269 (65%) responded. Of these 269 programs, 99 (37%) offered a freestanding EBM curriculum. Among these, the most common objectives were performing critical appraisal (78%), searching for evidence (53%), posing a focused question (44%), and applying the evidence in decision making (35%). Although 97% of the programs provided medline, only 33% provided Best Evidence or the Cochrane Library. Evaluation was performed in 37% of the freestanding curricula. Considering all respondents, most programs reported efforts to integrate EBM teaching into established venues, including attending rounds (84%), resident report (82%), continuity clinic (76%), bedside rounds (68%), and emergency department (35%). However, only 51% to 64% of the programs provided on-site electronic information and 31% to 45% provided site-specific faculty development. One third of the training programs reported offering freestanding EBM curricula, which commonly targeted important EBM skills, utilized the residents' experiences, and employed an interactive format. Less than one half of the curricula, however, included curriculum evaluation, and many failed to provide important medical information sources. Most programs reported efforts to integrate EBM teaching, but many of these attempts lacked important structural elements.
evidence-based medicine; residency programs; curriculum; graduate medical education; survey
Teaching the steps of evidence-based medicine (EBM) to undergraduate as well as postgraduate health care professionals is crucial for implementation of effective, beneficial health care practices and abandonment of ineffective, harmful ones. Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa, offers a 12-week, completely online module on EBM within the Family Medicine division, to medical specialists in their first year of training. The aim of this study was to formatively evaluate this module; assessing both the mode of delivery; as well as the perceived effectiveness and usefulness thereof.
We used mixed methods to evaluate this module: A document review to assess whether the content of the module reflects important EBM competencies; a survey of the students to determine their experiences of the module; and semi-structured interviews with the tutors to explore their perspectives of the module. Ethics approval was obtained.
The document review indicated that EBM competencies were covered adequately, although critical appraisal only focused on randomised controlled trials and guidelines. Students had a positive attitude towards the module, but felt that they needed more support from the tutors. Tutors felt that students engaged actively in discussions, but experienced difficulties with understanding certain concepts of EBM. Furthermore, they felt that it was challenging explaining these via the online learning platform and saw the need to incorporate more advanced technology to better connect with the students. In their view the key to successful learning of EBM was to keep it relevant and applicable to everyday practice. Tutors also felt that an online module on EBM was advantageous, since doctors from all over the world were able to participate.
Our study has shown that the online module on EBM was effective in increasing EBM knowledge and skills of postgraduate students and was well received by both students and tutors. Students and tutors experienced generic challenges that accompany any educational intervention of EBM (e.g. understanding difficult concepts), but in addition had to deal with challenges unique to the online learning environment. Teachers of EBM should acknowledge these so as to enhance and successfully implement EBM teaching and learning for all students.
Evidence-based medicine; Postgraduate; Online learning; Evaluation
While Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) skills are increasingly being taught in medical schools, teaching quality has been insufficient, so that incoming pediatric residents lack adequate EBM skills required for patient care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief teaching module developed to improve EBM skills of pediatric residents.
With-in subjects study design with pre- and post-test evaluation was performed in a large urban pediatric residency training program in Brooklyn, New York. We included PGY-1s during intern orientation, while second and third year pediatric residents were selected based on schedule availability. Sixty-nine residents were enrolled into the study, 60 (87%) completed the training. An EBM training module consisting of three or four weekly two-hour seminars was conducted. The module was designed to teach core EBM skills including (1) formulating answerable clinical questions, (2) searching the evidence, (3) critical appraisal skills including validity and applicability, and (4) understanding levels of evidence and quantitative results for therapy articles. A portion of the Fresno test of competence in EBM was used to assess EBM skills. The test presented a clinical scenario that was followed by nine short answer questions. One to three questions were used to assess EBM skills for each of the four core skills. The κ co-efficient for inter-rater reliability was 0.74 (95% CI: 0.56–0.92).
Prior to the training module, the residents achieved a mean score of 17% correct overall. Post intervention, the mean score increased to 63% with improvement in each EBM category. A mean of 4.08 more questions (out of 9) were answered correctly after the training (95% CI of 3.44–4.72).
A brief training module was effective in improving EBM skills of pediatric residents.
A variety of methods exists for teaching and learning evidence-based medicine (EBM). However, there is much debate about the effectiveness of various EBM teaching and learning activities, resulting in a lack of consensus as to what methods constitute the best educational practice. There is a need for a clear hierarchy of educational activities to effectively impart and acquire competence in EBM skills. This paper develops such a hierarchy based on current empirical and theoretical evidence.
EBM requires that health care decisions be based on the best available valid and relevant evidence. To achieve this, teachers delivering EBM curricula need to inculcate amongst learners the skills to gain, assess, apply, integrate and communicate new knowledge in clinical decision-making. Empirical and theoretical evidence suggests that there is a hierarchy of teaching and learning activities in terms of their educational effectiveness: Level 1, interactive and clinically integrated activities; Level 2(a), interactive but classroom based activities; Level 2(b), didactic but clinically integrated activities; and Level 3, didactic, classroom or standalone teaching.
All health care professionals need to understand and implement the principles of EBM to improve care of their patients. Interactive and clinically integrated teaching and learning activities provide the basis for the best educational practice in this field.
Recent surveys suggest few emergency medicine (EM) training programs have formal evidence-based medicine (EBM) or journal club curricula. Our primary objective was to describe the methods of EBM training in Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) EM residencies. Secondary objectives were to explore attitudes regarding current educational practices including e-learning, investigate barriers to journal club and EBM education, and assess the desire for national collaboration.
A 16-question survey containing binary, open-ended, and 5-pt Likert scale questions was distributed to the 14 RCPSC-EM program directors. Proportions of respondents (%), median, and IQR are reported.
The response rate was 93% (13/14). Most programs (85%) had established EBM curricula. Curricula content was delivered most frequently via journal club, with 62% of programs having 10 or more sessions annually. Less than half of journal clubs (46%) were led consistently by EBM experts. Four programs did not use a critical appraisal tool in their sessions (31%). Additional teaching formats included didactic and small group sessions, self-directed e-learning, EBM workshops, and library tutorials. 54% of programs operated educational websites with EBM resources. Program directors attributed highest importance to two core goals in EBM training curricula: critical appraisal of medical literature, and application of literature to patient care (85% rating 5 - “most importance”, respectively). Podcasts, blogs, and online journal clubs were valued for EBM teaching roles including creating exposure to literature (4, IQR 1.5) and linking literature to clinical practice experience (4, IQR 1.5) (1-no merit, 5-strong merit). Five of thirteen respondents rated lack of expert leadership and trained faculty educators as potential limitations to EBM education. The majority of respondents supported the creation of a national unified EBM educational resource (4, IQR 1) (1-no support, 5- strongly support).
RCPSC-EM programs have established EBM teaching curricula and deliver content most frequently via journal club. A lack of EBM expert educators may limit content delivery at certain sites. Program directors supported the nationalization of EBM educational resources. A growing usage of electronic resources may represent an avenue to link national EBM educational expertise, facilitating future collaborative educational efforts.
Evidence-based medicine; Medical education; Emergency medicine; E-learning; Journal club
Teaching evidence-based medicine (EBM) should be evaluated and guided by evidence of its own effectiveness. However, no data are available on adoption of EBM by Syrian undergraduate, postgraduate, or practicing physicians. In fact, the teaching of EBM in Syria is not yet a part of undergraduate medical curricula. The authors evaluated education of evidence-based medicine through a two-day intensive training course.
The authors evaluated education of evidence-based medicine through a two-day intensive training course that took place in 2011. The course included didactic lectures as well as interactive hands-on workshops on all topics of EBM. A comprehensive questionnaire, that included the Berlin questionnaire, was used to inspect medical students’ awareness of, attitudes toward, and competencies’ in EBM.
According to students, problems facing proper EBM practice in Syria were the absence of the following: an EBM teaching module in medical school curriculum (94%), role models among professors and instructors (92%), a librarian (70%), institutional subscription to medical journals (94%), and sufficient IT hardware (58%). After the course, there was a statistically significant increase in medical students' perceived ability to go through steps of EBM, namely: formulating PICO questions (56.9%), searching for evidence (39.8%), appraising the evidence (27.3%), understanding statistics (48%), and applying evidence at point of care (34.1%). However, mean increase in Berlin scores after the course was 2.68, a non-statistically significant increase of 17.86%.
The road to a better EBM reality in Syria starts with teaching EBM in medical school and developing the proper environment to facilitate transforming current medical education and practice to an evidence-based standard in Syria.
As the overall evidence for the effectiveness of teaching of evidence based medicine (EBM) is not strong, and the impact of cultural and societal influences on teaching method is poorly understood, we undertook a randomised-controlled trial to test the effectiveness and learning satisfaction with two different EBM teaching methods (usual teaching vs. problem based learning (PBL)) for undergraduate medical students.
A mixed methods study that included a randomised-controlled crossover trial with two intervention arms (usual teaching and PBL) and a nested qualitative study with focus groups to explore student perceptions of learning and to assess the effectiveness and utility of the two teaching methods.
All 129 second-year medical students at the University of Hong Kong in 2007.
The main outcomes measures were attitudes towards EBM; personal application and current use of EBM; EBM knowledge; future use of EBM.
PBL was less effective at imparting knowledge than usual teaching consisting of a lecture followed by a group tutorial. After usual teaching students showed improvement in scores for 'attitudes towards EBM', 'personal application and current use of EBM' and 'EBM knowledge, which were not evident after PBL. In contrast to the usual teaching, students found PBL difficult as they lacked the statistical knowledge necessary to support discussion, failed to understand core concepts, and lost direction.
The evidence presented here would suggest that the teaching of EBM within an Asian environment should adopt a format that facilitates both the acquisition of knowledge and encourages enquiry.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) invokes evidence-based medicine (EBM) principles through the practice-based learning core competency. The authors hypothesized that among a representative sample of emergency medicine (EM) residency programs, a wide variability in EBM resident training priorities, faculty expertise expectations, and curricula exists.
The primary objective was to obtain descriptive data regarding EBM practices and expectations from EM physician educators. Our secondary objective was to assess differences in EBM educational priorities among journal club directors compared with non–journal club directors.
A 19-question survey was developed by a group of recognized EBM curriculum innovators and then disseminated to Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) conference participants, assessing their opinions regarding essential EBM skill sets and EBM curricular expectations for residents and faculty at their home institutions. The survey instrument also identified the degree of interest respondents had in receiving a free monthly EBM journal club curriculum.
A total of 157 individuals registered for the conference, and 98 completed the survey. Seventy-seven (77% of respondents) were either residency program directors or assistant / associate program directors. The majority of participants were from university-based programs and in practice at least 5 years. Respondents reported the ability to identify flawed research (45%), apply research findings to patient care (43%), and comprehend research methodology (33%) as the most important resident skill sets. The majority of respondents reported no formal journal club or EBM curricula (75%) and do not utilize structured critical appraisal instruments (71%) when reviewing the literature. While journal club directors believed that resident learners’ most important EBM skill is to identify secondary peer-reviewed resources, non–journal club directors identified residents’ ability to distinguish significantly flawed research as the key skill to develop. Interest in receiving a free monthly EBM journal club curriculum was widely accepted (89%).
Attaining EBM proficiency is an expected outcome of graduate medical education (GME) training, although the specific domains of anticipated expertise differ between faculty and residents. Few respondents currently use a formalized curriculum to guide the development of EBM skill sets. There appears to be a high level of interest in obtaining EBM journal club educational content in a structured format. Measuring the effects of providing journal club curriculum content in conjunction with other EBM interventions may warrant further investigation.
evidence-based medicine; knowledge translation; faculty development
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been widely integrated into residency curricula, although results of randomized controlled trials and long term outcomes of EBM educational interventions are lacking. We sought to determine if an EBM workshop improved internal medicine residents' EBM knowledge and skills and use of secondary evidence resources.
This randomized controlled trial included 48 internal medicine residents at an academic medical center. Twenty-three residents were randomized to attend a 4-hour interactive workshop in their PGY-2 year. All residents completed a 25-item EBM knowledge and skills test and a self-reported survey of literature searching and resource usage in their PGY-1, PGY-2, and PGY-3 years.
There was no difference in mean EBM test scores between the workshop and control groups at PGY-2 or PGY-3. However, mean EBM test scores significantly increased over time for both groups in PGY-2 and PGY-3. Literature searches, and resource usage also increased significantly in both groups after the PGY-1 year.
We were unable to detect a difference in EBM knowledge between residents who did and did not participate in our workshop. Significant improvement over time in EBM scores, however, suggests EBM skills were learned during residency. Future rigorous studies should determine the best methods for improving residents' EBM skills as well as their ability to apply evidence during clinical practice.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is widely taught in residency, but evidence for effectiveness of EBM teaching on changing residents’ behavior is limited.
To investigate the impact of an EBM curriculum on residents’ use of evidence-based resources in a simulated clinical experience.
Fifty medicine residents randomized to an EBM teaching or control group.
A validated test of EBM knowledge (Fresno test) was administered before and after intervention. Post intervention, residents twice completed a Web-based, multiple-choice instrument (15 items) comprised of clinical vignettes, first without then with access to electronic resources. Use of electronic resources was tracked using ProxyPlus software. Within group pre–post differences and between group post-test differences were examined.
There was more improvement in EBM knowledge (100-point scale) for the intervention group compared to the control group (mean score increase 22 vs. 12, = 0.012). In the simulated clinical experience, the most commonly accessed resources were Ovid (71% of residents accessed) and InfoPOEMs (62%) for the EBM group and UptoDate (67%) and MDConsult (58%) for the control group. Residents in the EBM group were more likely to use evidence-based resources than the control group. Performance on clinical vignettes was similar between the groups both at baseline ( = 0.19) and with access to information resources ( = 0.89).
EBM teaching improved EBM knowledge and increased use of evidence-based resources by residents, but did not improve performance on Web-based clinical vignettes. Future studies will need to examine impact of EBM teaching on clinical outcomes.
evidence-based medicine (EBM); changing residents’ behavior; EBM curriculum