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Patient Educ Couns. 2009 Jul;76(1):5-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.12.014. Epub 2009 Jan 20.

Impact of two types of Internet-based information on medical students' performance in an Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE).

Author information

1
Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536-0298, USA. welder@email.uky.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Internet-based information has potential to impact physician-patient relationships. This study examined medical students' interpretation and response to such information presented during an objective clinical examination.

METHOD:

Ninety-three medical students who had received training for a patient centered response to inquiries about alternative treatments completed a comprehensive examination in their third year. In 1 of 12 objective structured clinical exams, a SP presented Internet-based information on l-theanine - an amino acid available as a supplement. In Condition A, materials were from commercial websites; in Condition B, materials were from the PubMed website.

RESULTS:

Analyses revealed no significant differences between Conditions in student performance or patient (SP) satisfaction. Students in Condition A rated the information less compelling than students in Condition B (z=-1.78, p=.037), and attributed less of the treatment's action to real vs. placebo effects (z=-1.61, p=.053).

CONCLUSIONS:

Students trained in a patient centered response to inquiries about alternative treatment perceived the credibility of the two types of Internet-based information differently but were able to respond to the patient without jeopardizing patient satisfaction. Approach to information was superficial. Training in information evaluation may be warranted.

PMID:
19157760
PMCID:
PMC2765808
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2008.12.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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