Departments of Cell Biology; Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Neurology; Office of Educational Affairs
Curriculum; Education, Medical, Undergraduate; Educational Measurement; Humans; Neurosciences; Schools, Medical; Stroke; United States
Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In response to the need to educate physicians about stroke, we have implemented an educational program on stroke prevention for undergraduate medical students within the first-year neuroscience course. This study investigated whether first-year students learned and retained key information about stroke, and used students' feedback both to identify effective curricular components and to explore their attitudes regarding stroke prevention.
METHODS: Stroke knowledge and self-assessed confidence in that knowledge before, immediately after, and 8 months after participation in the stroke curriculum were analyzed and compared for 3 classes, using paired t tests and repeated-measures ANOVA. Student feedback about the effectiveness of specific parts of the curriculum and about the importance of stroke prevention was solicited and evaluated.
RESULTS: First-year medical students in 3 classes more than doubled their overall stroke knowledge scores (pretest total mean of 8.2; posttest mean 18.0), and retained significant improvement 8 months later (mean 15.7). Subscores in all 4 areas of stroke knowledge tested significantly increased (P<0.001). Students' confidence in their knowledge of stroke risk factors and warning signs, as well as in their knowledge itself, increased (P<0.001). Each of the 3 cohorts demonstrated similar improvements. Feedback indicated heightened awareness and interest in stroke prevention, which was maintained after completion of the curriculum.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that when instruction on stroke prevention is incorporated into the first-year curriculum, students learn and retain key information. Because entire classes of medical students are involved, this type of approach has the potential to reach all future physicians and therefore to meaningfully impact future stroke care.
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Citation: Stroke. 2001 Dec 1;32(12):2854-9. Link to article on publisher's website