Learning Sessions on Critical Appraisal of Randomised Clinical Trials: Student Feedback 217-223
Dr. P. Ravi Shankar. Department of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 155, Deep Heights, Pokhara, Nepal. Tel.: 00977-61-440600; fax: 00977-61-440260; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Context:Critical appraisal skills are essential for students to become rational prescribers. Evidence-based medicine requires the ability to appraise articles critically. Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal, mainly admits students from Nepal, India and Sri Lanka for the undergraduate medical (MBBS) course. Pharmacology is taught during the first four semesters. The department recently started learning sessions on the critical analysis of published randomised clinical trials for the third- and fourth-semester students.
Aims: The study is aimed to obtain information on the student attitudes towards the sessions and note the association, if any, of the attitudes with demographic characteristics of the respondents.
Settings and design: The study was conducted among the third- and fourth-semester basic science students of the institution. The design was a prospective questionnaire-based study.
Methods: Basic demographic information about the respondents was collected, and the degree of agreement with a set of 16 statements was noted. The agreement was noted using a modified Likert-type scale. The total score was calculated for each respondent. The scores of some statements were reversed while calculating the total score. Statistical analysis: The median total score was compared among different subgroups of respondents. The level of statistical significance for all analyses was set at p < 0.05 using two-tailed comparisons.
Results: A total of 116 students participated (overall response rate was 81.8%). Nepalese and Indians were the major nationalities. The median score (interquartile range) was 54 (50.5–56.5). No significant difference in scores was seen among different subgroups. The students were of the opinion that the sessions made them aware of the technique of critical analysis of a journal article.
Conclusions: Student opinion about the sessions was positive. Lack of knowledge of statistics among the students was a limitation. A student elective on reading and writing science can be considered.