Improving Medical Student Education About Preventive Services

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David Skhirtladze MD MPH Marianna LaNoue PhD Fred W Markham MD Mona Sarfaty, M.D., M.P.H.



Background: The majority of clinical preventive services are underused in primary care contributing to premature death and illness. Educational gaps on the topics of wellness and prevention in medical schools may lead to less use of preventive services among medical students as they start to practice medicine. Research suggests that incorporation of prevention education interventions into medical schools core curriculum leads to increased use of clinical preventive services in primary care.
Purpose: The purpose of the project was to develop an innovative prevention education module for third-year medical students and evaluate its impact on their knowledge, attitudes, behavior and self-efficacy regarding clinical preventive services.
Methods: Sixty-three medical students were recruited when they started their rotation in family medicine during their third year of Jefferson Medical College. The project employed a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design in which we compared students who received the educational intervention and those who did not receive the intervention within the same rotation period. Descriptive analysis was conducted for all outcome variables and participant characteristics. A two-way (2x2) repeated-measures ANOVA was used to analyze all outcome variables.
Results: Thirty-three medical students in the intervention group were compared with thirty medical students in the comparison group. All completed the pre and post education questionnaire. The mean age of subjects was 25.6 (SD=2.3, range=22-33) with no difference between the groups. Students in the intervention group showed greater change in knowledge and improvement in self-efficacy compared to the control group.
Conclusion: Since increased knowledge and self-efficacy are known determinants of behaviour change, this approach may result in behavior and practice change among medical students with regard to use of preventive services.

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How to Cite
SKHIRTLADZE MD MPH, David et al. Improving Medical Student Education About Preventive Services. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], n. 3, july 2015. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 07 oct. 2022.
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