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Evaluating the educational effectiveness of a structured, simulator-assisted, peer-led training on cardiovascular physical examination in third-year medical students: A randomized, controlled trial

Citation

Kronschnabl, David; Baerwald, Christoph; Rotzoll, Daisy (2022), Evaluating the educational effectiveness of a structured, simulator-assisted, peer-led training on cardiovascular physical examination in third-year medical students: A randomized, controlled trial, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.r7sqv9s8w

Abstract

Background: Previous research suggests that cardiac examination skills in undergraduate medical students frequently need improvement. There are different ways to enhance physical examination (PE) skills such as simulator-based training or peer-assisted learning (PAL). 

Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a structured, simulator-assisted, peer-led training on cardiovascular PE.

Methods: Participants were third-year medical students at Leipzig University Faculty of Medicine. Students were randomly assigned to an intervention group (IG) and a control group (CG). In addition to standard curricular training, IG received a peer-led, simulator-based training in cardiac PE. Participant performance in cardiac PE was assessed using a standardized checklist with a maximum of 25 points. Primary outcome was assessed via checklist point distribution.

Results: 89 students were randomised to either CG (n = 43) or IG (n = 46) with 70 completing the study. Overall, IG students performed significantly better than CG students did (max. points: 25, IG M ± SD in IG was 17 ± 3, in CG 12 ± 4, p < .0001). Simple mistakes such as not using the stethoscope correctly were more frequent in CG students. Prior experience did not lead to a significant difference in performance. 

Conclusions: Structured, peer-led and simulator-assisted teaching sessions improve cardiac PE skills in this setting compared to control students that did not receive this training.

Funding