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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2011 Mar;40(2):203-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2010.09.002. Epub 2010 Nov 20.

Teaching physicians to address unhealthy alcohol use: a randomized controlled trial assessing the effect of a Web-based module on medical student performance.

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Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.



The authors developed and evaluated an interactive, Web-based module to train medical students in screening and brief intervention (SBI) for unhealthy alcohol use.


First-year students were randomized to module versus lecture. Change in knowledge, attitudes, and confidence were compared. Performance was assessed by objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) and analyzed by intention to treat and treatment received.


Of 141 consenting students, 64% (n = 90) completed an intervention (54% lecture vs. 70% Web assigned). Knowledge, confidence, and attitudes improved in both groups, with more improvement in Advise-Assist knowledge for Web students (14% vs. -3%, p = .003). Web students outperformed their lecture peers in both general communication (65% vs. 51% items well done, p = .004) and alcohol-specific tasks (54% vs. 41%, p = .021) on OSCE. Analysis by treatment received enhanced between-group differences.


Use of a Web-based module to teach SBI is associated with greater knowledge gain and skills performance compared with a lecture covering similar content. The module provides an efficient means for training in this area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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