Impact of two types of Internet-based information on medical students' performance in an Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE)

William G. Elder, Paul L. Dassow, Geza G. Bruckner, Terry D. Stratton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Internet-based information has potential to impact physician-patient relationships. This study examined medical students' interpretation and response to such information presented during an objective clinical examination. Method: Ninety-three medical students who had received training for a patient centered response to inquiries about alternative treatments completed a comprehensive examination in their third year. In 1 of 12 objective structured clinical exams, a SP presented Internet-based information on l-theanine - an amino acid available as a supplement. In Condition A, materials were from commercial websites; in Condition B, materials were from the PubMed website. Results: Analyses revealed no significant differences between Conditions in student performance or patient (SP) satisfaction. Students in Condition A rated the information less compelling than students in Condition B (z = -1.78, p = .037), and attributed less of the treatment's action to real vs. placebo effects (z = -1.61, p = .053). Conclusions: Students trained in a patient centered response to inquiries about alternative treatment perceived the credibility of the two types of Internet-based information differently but were able to respond to the patient without jeopardizing patient satisfaction. Approach to information was superficial. Training in information evaluation may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-9
Number of pages5
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • Alternative medicine
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Internet-based information
  • Patient counseling
  • Physician-patient relationship
  • Student-evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

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