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Int J Med Educ. 2017 Nov 30;8:416-420. doi: 10.5116/ijme.5a11.8422.

Can a smartphone app improve medical trainees' knowledge of antibiotics?

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
2
Department of Pharmacy, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada.
3
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
4
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
5
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto.
6
App Developer.

Abstract

Objectives:

To determine whether a smartphone app, containing local bacterial resistance patterns (antibiogram) and treatment guidelines, improved knowledge of prescribing antimicrobials among medical trainees.

Methods:

We conducted a prospective, controlled, pre-post study of medical trainees with access to a smartphone app (app group) containing our hospital's antibiogram and treatment guidelines compared to those without access (control group). Participants completed a survey which included a knowledge assessment test (score range, 0 [lowest possible score] to 12 [highest possible score]) at the start of the study and four weeks later. The primary outcome was change in mean knowledge assessment test scores between week 0 and week 4. Change in knowledge assessment test scores in the app group were compared to the difference in scores in the control group using multivariable linear regression.

Results:

Sixty-two residents and senior medical students participated in the study. In a multivariable analysis controlling for sex and prior knowledge, app use was associated with a 1.1 point (95% CI: 0.10, 2.1) [β = 1.08, t(1) = 2.08, p = 0.04]  higher change in knowledge score compared to the change in knowledge scores in the control group. Among those in the app group, 88% found it easy to navigate, 85% found it useful, and about one- quarter used it daily.

Conclusions:

An antibiogram and treatment algorithm app increased knowledge of prescribing antimicrobials in the context of local antibiotic resistance patterns. These findings reinforce the notion that smartphone apps can be a useful and innovative means of delivering medical education.

KEYWORDS:

antibiogram; antimicrobial stewardship; app; canada; smartphone

PMID:
29200402
DOI:
10.5116/ijme.5a11.8422
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