Integrating an evidence-based medicine rotation into an internal medicine residency program

Elie A Akl, Ifeoma S Izuchukwu, Samer El-Dika, Lutz Fritsche, Regina Kunz, Holger J Sch√ľnemann
Academic Medicine 2004, 79 (9): 897-904

PURPOSE: To measure the impact of a resident focused evidence-based medicine (EBM) educational intervention on EBM knowledge of residents and students, to assess its feasibility, and to evaluate residents' attitudes regarding this rotation.

METHOD: In 2002, based on the EBM user and EBM practitioner model, the authors designed the EBM elective rotation and conducted a controlled trial of its implementation in the internal medicine residency program in three teaching hospitals affiliated with the University at Buffalo, New York. The intervention group (one hospital, 17 medical students and residents) received a multifaceted intervention. In the control group (two hospitals, 23 medical students and residents), there was no curriculum change. The effectiveness in a pre- and post-test was assessed using the English version of the Berlin Questionnaire. A survey of all internal medicine residents (n = 119) was conducted to evaluate their attitudes toward the EBM elective rotation.

RESULTS: In the intervention group, knowledge improved slightly, but not significantly (.71 on a scale ranging from 0-15 on the Berlin questionnaire, p =.3). The mean score in the control group decreased significantly (1.65, p =.005). The difference in change scores between the two groups was significant even after adjustment for covariates (2.52, p =.006). Residents (response rate 83%) had positive attitudes regarding the rotation.

CONCLUSION: An EBM elective rotation was successfully integrated into a residency program. This multifaceted educational approach with an "on-the-ward" EBM resident, may improve the EBM knowledge and skills of targeted students and residents.

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