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Distance learning in antimicrobial stewardship: innovation in medical education.

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Distance learning in antimicrobial stewardship: innovation in medical education.

BMC Med Educ. 2019 Jun 07;19(1):191

Authors: Laks M, Guerra CM, Miraglia JL, Medeiros EA

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to analyse the impact that web-based distance learning has on knowledge gain in medical students, as well as student perceptions of the methodology.
METHODS: This was an educational intervention study conducted at a tertiary teaching hospital in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. From 2008 to 2014, we offered a free web-based distance learning course, covering antimicrobial use and microbial resistance, to fifth-year medical students. The course encompassed 100 h of activities, with five theoretical modules, exercises and simulations, within a virtual learning environment. The students were tutored in their online activities, and some classes were conducted in real time for live discussions. In addition, students underwent face-to-face assessments of their knowledge of the topic before and after the course. Statistical analysis was performed and the means of the overall scores were obtained, as were the respective 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The means were compared by two-tailed paired t-tests and by the paired Wilcoxon test.
RESULTS: Of 814 eligible medical students, 606 (74.45%) completed the entire course during the study period. The mean score for knowledge of the topic was significantly higher on the final assessment than on the initial assessment (p <  0.001). We found that dedication (in hours) was directly proportional to the level of participation, as reflected in the mean final score (p = 0.009) and in the proportion of students who passed (p = 0.028). All of the participants considered their knowledge adequate or insufficient before the course, stating that it is quite important or important to address the topic during medical education. Although dedication levels were low, 70.5% stated that they had learned "quite a lot" or "more than expected" about the topic and would dedicate more time to it if they could.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of a virtual learning environment can promote teaching and learning in the infectious diseases field, specifically for antimicrobial stewardship, increasing knowledge significantly, and should be considered for inclusion in the final stages of medical education.

PMID: 31174524 [PubMed - in process]