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Fam Med. 2010 May;42(5):350-7.

A PDA-based counseling tool for improving medical student smoking cessation counseling.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA. sstrayer@virginia.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

There is little research on training medical students in smoking cessation counseling (SCC). This study aimed to determine if a personal digital assistant (PDA)-based SCC tool can improve medical student SCC.

METHODS:

We conducted a randomized, controlled trial with third-year medical students. SCC behaviors, comfort, and knowledge were assessed using a validated survey before students attended a workshop on SCC. Student groups were then randomized to receive a paper-based reminder tool or the reminder plus a PDA-based SCC tool. The validated survey was repeated upon clerkship completion, and a videotaped standardized patient interview was assessed by trained reviewers using a 24-item SCC checklist. Focus groups assessed satisfaction with the PDA tool, usability, and barriers to use.

RESULTS:

SCC behaviors, knowledge, and comfort increased among all participants, with no statistical differences between groups. The PDA tool group performed 62% of key SCC activities during the videotaped interview, while the control group performed 69%. Students reported discomfort using the PDA with patients, lack of time, and lack of training as barriers to use of the tool.

CONCLUSIONS:

We demonstrated improvement of SCC skills by third-year medical students using a workshop combined with a supplemental reference tool. However, a PDA-based tool did not increase key SCC behaviors compared with a paper-based reminder. For a PDA intervention to be effective in this setting, the tool must be simplified and additional training provided.

PMID:
20461567
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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