Blog
About

34
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Virtual patients design and its effect on clinical reasoning and student experience: a protocol for a randomised factorial multi-centre study

      Read this article at

      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Background

          Virtual Patients (VPs) are web-based representations of realistic clinical cases. They are proposed as being an optimal method for teaching clinical reasoning skills. International standards exist which define precisely what constitutes a VP. There are multiple design possibilities for VPs, however there is little formal evidence to support individual design features. The purpose of this trial is to explore the effect of two different potentially important design features on clinical reasoning skills and the student experience. These are the branching case pathways (present or absent) and structured clinical reasoning feedback (present or absent).

          Methods/Design

          This is a multi-centre randomised 2x2 factorial design study evaluating two independent variables of VP design, branching (present or absent), and structured clinical reasoning feedback (present or absent).The study will be carried out in medical student volunteers in one year group from three university medical schools in the United Kingdom, Warwick, Keele and Birmingham. There are four core musculoskeletal topics. Each case can be designed in four different ways, equating to 16 VPs required for the research. Students will be randomised to four groups, completing the four VP topics in the same order, but with each group exposed to a different VP design sequentially. All students will be exposed to the four designs. Primary outcomes are performance for each case design in a standardized fifteen item clinical reasoning assessment, integrated into each VP, which is identical for each topic. Additionally a 15-item self-reported evaluation is completed for each VP, based on a widely used EViP tool. Student patterns of use of the VPs will be recorded.

          In one centre, formative clinical and examination performance will be recorded, along with a self reported pre and post-intervention reasoning score, the DTI. Our power calculations indicate a sample size of 112 is required for both primary outcomes.

          Discussion

          This trial will provide robust evidence to support the effectiveness of different designs of virtual patients, based on student performance and evaluation. The cases and all learning materials will be open access and available on a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike license.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 30

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          The CONSORT statement: revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallel group randomized trials

          To comprehend the results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), readers must understand its design, conduct, analysis and interpretation. That goal can only be achieved through complete transparency from authors. Despite several decades of educational efforts, the reporting of RCTs needs improvement. Investigators and editors developed the original CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement to help authors improve reporting by using a checklist and flow diagram. The revised CONSORT statement presented in this paper incorporates new evidence and addresses some criticisms of the original statement. The checklist items pertain to the content of the Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. The revised checklist includes 22-items selected because empirical evidence indicates that not reporting the information is associated with biasedestimates of treatment effect or the information is essential to judge the reliability or relevance of the findings. We intended the flow diagram to depict the passage of participants through an RCT. The revised flow diagram depicts information from four stages of a trial (enrolment, intervention allocation, follow-up, and analysis). The diagram explicitly includes the number of participants, for each intervention group, included in the primary data analysis. Inclusion of these numbers allows the reader to judge whether the authors have performed an intention-to-treat analysis. In sum, the CONSORT statement is intended to improve the reporting of an RCT, enabling readers to understand a trial's conduct and to assess the validity of its results.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Virtual patients: a critical literature review and proposed next steps.

            The opposing forces of increased training expectations and reduced training resources have greatly impacted health professions education. Virtual patients (VPs), which take the form of interactive computer-based clinical scenarios, may help to reconcile this paradox. We summarise research on VPs, highlight the spectrum of potential variation and identify an agenda for future research. We also critically consider the role of VPs in the educational armamentarium. We propose that VPs' most unique and cost-effective function is to facilitate and assess the development of clinical reasoning. Clinical reasoning in experts involves a non-analytical process that matures through deliberate practice with multiple and varied clinical cases. Virtual patients are ideally suited to this task. Virtual patients can also be used in learner assessment, but scoring rubrics should emphasise non-analytical clinical reasoning rather than completeness of information or algorithmic approaches. Potential variations in VP design are practically limitless, yet few studies have rigorously explored design issues. More research is needed to inform instructional design and curricular integration. Virtual patients should be designed and used to promote clinical reasoning skills. More research is needed to inform how to effectively use VPs.
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Computerized virtual patients in health professions education: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

              Educators increasingly use virtual patients (computerized clinical case simulations) in health professions training. The authors summarize the effect of virtual patients compared with no intervention and alternate instructional methods, and elucidate features of effective virtual patient design. The authors searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, ERIC, PsychINFO, and Scopus through February 2009 for studies describing virtual patients for practicing and student physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. Reviewers, working in duplicate, abstracted information on instructional design and outcomes. Effect sizes were pooled using a random-effects model. Four qualitative, 18 no-intervention controlled, 21 noncomputer instruction-comparative, and 11 computer-assisted instruction-comparative studies were found. Heterogeneity was large (I²>50%) in most analyses. Compared with no intervention, the pooled effect size (95% confidence interval; number of studies) was 0.94 (0.69 to 1.19; N=11) for knowledge outcomes, 0.80 (0.52 to 1.08; N=5) for clinical reasoning, and 0.90 (0.61 to 1.19; N=9) for other skills. Compared with noncomputer instruction, pooled effect size (positive numbers favoring virtual patients) was -0.17 (-0.57 to 0.24; N=8) for satisfaction, 0.06 (-0.14 to 0.25; N=5) for knowledge, -0.004 (-0.30 to 0.29; N=10) for reasoning, and 0.10 (-0.21 to 0.42; N=11) for other skills. Comparisons of different virtual patient designs suggest that repetition until demonstration of mastery, advance organizers, enhanced feedback, and explicitly contrasting cases can improve learning outcomes. Virtual patients are associated with large positive effects compared with no intervention. Effects in comparison with noncomputer instruction are on average small. Further research clarifying how to effectively implement virtual patients is needed.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Medical Education
                BioMed Central
                1472-6920
                2012
                1 August 2012
                : 12
                : 62
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Education and Development Research Team, Warwick Medical School, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
                [2 ]University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, NHS Trust, Lakin Road, Coventry CV2 2DX, UK
                [3 ]Department of Statistics, Warwick Medical School, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK
                Article
                1472-6920-12-62
                10.1186/1472-6920-12-62
                3441814
                22853706
                Copyright ©2012 Bateman et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Study Protocol

                Comments

                Comment on this article