Teaching medical students exposure therapy for phobia/panic - randomized, controlled comparison of face-to-face tutorial in small groups vs. solo computer instruction.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE:To compare the teaching value of one session of computer-guided solo instruction in exposure therapy for phobias with that of one face-to-face small-group tutorial. DESIGN:Non-blind, randomized, controlled study. SETTING:King's College Hospital Medical School, London. PARTICIPANTS:Thirty-seven third-year medical students and 11 behaviour therapists. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Seventy-five true/false multiple choice questions relating to (b) below answered at pre- and post-teaching by students and just once by behaviour therapists to obtain 'expert' scores; pre- and post-teaching ratings of interest in behaviour therapy and post-teaching ratings of educational and enjoyment value. EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTIONS: (a) All students had a 20-minute group lecture on basic concepts and historical aspects just before randomization to: (b) 90 min of either solo computer or group face-to-face tutorial teaching. Computer instruction used a short version of 'FearFighter'- a self-help computer system for people suffering from phobias. RESULTS:Solo computer instruction taught exposure therapy principles effectively but improved multiple choice question scores marginally less than did small-group tutorial teaching. Tutorial teaching required 5 times more teacher time but led to knowledge scores that did not differ significantly from those of behaviour therapists. Students clearly rated face-to-face small-group tutorial teaching as more enjoyable. CONCLUSION:The knowledge gain from a solo computer session resembled that from a small-group face-to-face tutorial, and required far less teacher time, but was less enjoyable. Enjoyment might rise if the computer session was group-oriented and aimed at students rather than patients. In general computer teaching might be best used to complement rather than replace conventional teaching.

journal_name

Med Educ

journal_title

Medical education

authors

McDonough M,Marks IM

doi

10.1046/j.1365-2923.2002.01210.x

keywords:

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2002-05-01 00:00:00

pages

412-7

issue

5

eissn

0308-0110

issn

1365-2923

pii

1210

journal_volume

36

pub_type

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