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Enhancing evidence-based health care (EBHC) knowledge and skills of medical student interns at Stellenbosch University’s Rural Clinical School in Worcester

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Anke Rohwer

Contact person

Anke Rohwer
Abstract text
Background: Stellenbosch University (SU), via the Stellenbosch University Rural Medical Educational Partnership Initiative (SURMEPI), aims to enhance skills of medical professionals in HIV/AIDS and TB care, as well as increase research capacity in these fields. Strengthening evidence-based health care (EBHC) knowledge and skills is important within this context. Since 2011, final year medical students at SU have the opportunity to do their student internship at the Rural Clinical School in Worcester. As part of the SURMEPI project, we delivered five EBHC tutorials to these students in 2012. Objectives: To reinforce student interns’ knowledge and skills related to the basic principles of EBHC and the application thereof. Methods: The five two-hour sessions covered the following topics: Principles of EBHC and formulating questions; searching scientific databases for relevant studies; and critical appraisal of randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews and clinical guidelines. Tutorials consisted of a combination of didactic input, hands-on class exercises and discussions. Students completed a questionnaire on their self-perceived confidence in practicing EBHC and their attitude towards EBHC before the first and after the last tutorial. Students also completed an evaluation form after each session. An online learning site was used as a repository of relevant resources, presentations and screencasts; and as a platform for discussions and sharing of new developments. Results: Tutorials were well received and students found it very useful. Most students accessed e-learning resources easily and participated in interactive e-learning. There was an overall increase in students’ self-perceived confidence in practicing EBHC as well as an increase in positive attitudes towards EBHC. Conclusion: EBHC tutorials were effective to teach EBHC to undergraduate students. Further sessions could be incorporated to expand the scope of principles taught and all final year MB,ChB students should be exposed to the programme.