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Using Cochrane Reviews to Improve Critical Appraisal Skills and Clinical Decision Making in Problem-based Learning

Date and Location




Saturday 21 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Mei-Yi Wu

Contact person

Chung-Shun Wong
Abstract text
Background: Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject through the experience of problem solving. Cochrane reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, and are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. However, the effectiveness of using Cochrane reviews in PBL has not been well evaluated. Objectives: To assess the learning efficacy of using Cochrane reviews in PBL. Methods: PBL is held on a biweekly basis in Department of Internal Medicine in Taipei Medical University-Shuang Ho Hospital in Taiwan. The participants include medical students, resident doctors and primary care faculty members. Cochrane reviews are selected based on a clinical based question. During to the session, the moderator (a Cochrane reviews expert) helps the participants to understand the history of Cochrane collaboration, the concept on meta-analysis, and the critical appraisal skills. After using Cochrane reviews for an one-month period, the effectiveness of the PBL is being evaluated based on the survey among participants. Results: Among 28 respondents, 85.7% agreed that Cochrane reviews using in PBL can improve overall learning quality , 85.7% approved it can help to understand meta-analysis, 78.6% agreed it helped to stimulate critical appraisal skills, and 67.9% thought Cochrane reviews can facilitate problem-solving based on evidence. For future implementation, 82.1% of them recommended that Cochrane reviews should be used in future PBL. Conclusion: Using Cochrane reviews in PBL was appreciated by most of the participants and may improve critical appraisal skills and provide evidence-based decision making. Thus, we suggest the use of Cochrane reviews regularly in PBL.