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Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2012 May-Jun;40(3):204-8. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20590. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Integration of basic sciences in health's courses.

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Universidade Federal de São Paulo--UNIFESP--Campus Diadema, Diadema, SP, Brazil.


Concepts from disciplines such as Biochemistry, Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology are essential to the understanding and treatment of an elevated number of illnesses, but often they are studied separately, with no integration between them. This article proposes a model for basic sciences integration based on problem-based learning (PBL) and compares failure rate, global final grade, approved student final grade, grade distribution and students' satisfaction with teacher conduction between integrated curriculum and traditional learning in health courses from Anhembi Morumbi University-a private institution from Brazil. Comparison between integrated and traditional curriculum was based on students' records obtained from first-year health sciences students. A total of 1,697 records from 2005 to 2007 (nonintegrated curriculum) and 785 records from 2008 (integrated curriculum) were selected for this study and they were necessary to get information about students' grades. Moreover, a questionnaire was applied in order to cover student's satisfaction with teacher conduction. The data presented in this study indicated that the integrated curriculum based on PBL was related to an improvement in student's grades and satisfaction compared with traditional teaching. We believe that the effectiveness in health education will be a combination of "classical" presentation of contents associated to actively involved students in the educational process and methodology based on problems in order to create the stimulus for the undergraduates continue to integrate basic and clinical investigation.

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