Date Published: November 30, 2017
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Author(s): Yoshihito Matsumura, Hideto Shinno, Takahiro Mori, Yu Nakamura.
A number of programs representing virtual patients for use in teaching settings have been developed in the field of psychiatry; however, they simulate only the interview process, not the entire scope of treatment. The authors have developed software through which students can experience the practice of psychiatry (in particular, with dementia patients) in its entirety. This study compares this software with conventional learning methods.
The control group was 43 fifth-year medical students in 2014 who studied using a conventional learning method (taking lectures and being in contact with actual patients). The experimental group was 36 fifth-year medical students in 2015 that used computer software (taking lectures and with reduced time in contact with actual patients). The authors compared the two groups. Each group was tested before and after clinical training on their acquisition of knowledge of dementia. The control group was tested in 2014, and the experimental group was tested in 2015.
The difference in average test scores between the two groups was statistically significant (p = 0.01), with the experimental group scoring higher.
The results indicate that students who were taught using a computer-based software method were better able to answer a standard series of questions designed to evaluate their understanding of dementia than those who were taught in a conventional manner.
We have compared the acquisition of dementia knowledge by the two groups using the pre-intervention and post-intervention tests described above. The control group was fifth-year medical students in 2014 and was tested in 2014. The experimental group was fifth-year medical students in 2015 and was tested in 2015. Both groups of students took the pre-intervention test on the first day of their clinical psychiatry rotation. Then, they took the knowledge post-intervention test on the last day of their clinical psychiatry rotation.
The control group had contact with actual patients and attended lectures during the rotation period. The experimental group used a simulator and had contact with actual patients as well as VPs and attended lectures during the rotation period. We carried out pre-intervention and post-intervention tests with the 43 medical students (control group) and the 36 medical students (experimental group).