Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Medical Education Center, Chonburi Hospital, Chonburi, Thailand; Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; University of Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency Program, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

2 Medical Education Center, Chonburi Hospital, Chonburi, Thailand; Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

3 Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Medical Education Center, Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

4 Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

5 Medical Education Center, Chonburi Hospital, Chonburi, Thailand

Abstract

Introduction: Peer-assisted learning has been shown to be an
effective teaching and learning method. However, this technique
has not been proven in Thai medical school. We aimed to compare
the effectiveness of peer-assisted learning and self-study in
interpreting an electrocardiogram in Thai medical students.
Methods: This is a prospective, randomized controlled trial,
conducted in Chonburi teaching hospital, a community hospital
affiliated with Chulalongkorn University. All medical students
from the fourth and fifth years, a total of eighty students, were
randomly assigned to two groups of peer-assisted learning
(PAL) and self-study (SS) via stratified randomization done
by computer-generated randomization. The two groups were
matched for sex and grade point average. In the PAL group,
teaching was performed by the fourth and fifth year medical
students. We conducted five weekly study sessions. Different
topics of electrocardiogram interpretation were assigned to tutors
for teaching. SS group would separately study the same topic on
their own. Constructed response questions were used to assess
the students at the beginning as a pre-test and after a five-week
session as a post-test. Online self-assessment was delivered to
students one month after the study.
Results: Mean pre-test and post-test score was put into the
analysis and compared across groups using t-test. No significant
difference in pre-test score was observed between the two groups
in the same academic year. There was a significant difference
between the mean post-test score between the fourth year PAL
and SS groups. Also, the mean difference score in the fourth year
PAL group was higher than the fourth year SS group. However, in
the fifth year group, there was no significant difference between
the PAL and SS groups in the mean post-test score and mean
difference score.
Conclusion: In conclusion, peer-assisted learning is an interesting
method to improve understanding and interpreting skills of basic
ECG better than self-study in the early clinical year medical
students.

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