Official Title: “Can a MEdTech E-learning Module Adequately Prepare Medical Students to Undertake a First Female Pelvic Exam?”
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a web based learning module in the preparation of medical students to undertake a first female pelvic exam.
Background: Bryden Magee (Meds 2010) under the supervision of Robert Reid, M.D., created an educational DVD © 2009 that gives a step-by-step approach to the pelvic exam utilizing real patient video clips and illustrations. Endorsed by the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada (APOG), this educational innovation has been shown to improve both knowledge and confidence in medical students learning these skills (Magee 2009). The video content is accessible to all Queen's faculty and students affiliated with the School of Medicine through MEdTech.
Methods: We will introduce medical students to the MEdTech pelvic exam module and use a comprehensive assessment tool, designed by experienced gynaecologists in our Department, to measure how well they perform their first exam on female volunteers acting as mock patients. We plan to recruit 48 students and 4 mock patients.
Outcome: We will evaluate the success rate of students achieving a passing grade of 50% (12/24) on their first unassisted speculum and bimanual examination after viewing the video content.
- Study Type: Interventional
- Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label
- Study Primary Completion Date: May 2010
Detailed Clinical Trial Description
At Queen's University students may have many months between their GTA teaching session and their first attendance at gynaecology clinics. In many circumstances their preparedness to perform a first examination seems limited. The first examination experience in clinic is the most critical since subsequent examinations are done after critique and feedback. We wish to determine whether our web-based video instruction module, when viewed immediately prior to the first examination, adequately prepares naïve students to skilfully perform their first pelvic exam. This will require simulated patients, qualified examiners, and the use of a comprehensive assessment tool. If this technology is effective this will offer significant savings in terms of time to the medical school for scheduling of many GTAs sessions over many months, to the students who currently set aside two hours for a GTA session, and in terms of ongoing costs ($200 per student for GTA sessions; $20,000 per year).
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a MEdTech e-learning module designed to prepare medical students to undertake a first female pelvic exam.
Methods: We will introduce first year medical students to the MEdTech e-learning module. Following this exposure we will measure how well they perform their first exam on female volunteers acting as mock patients using a comprehensive 23-item assessment tool designed by experienced gynaecologists in our Department.
We will recruit four women to act as simulated patients. We are expecting that 48 students will choose to participate in our study. Four residents from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology will act as examiners. We estimate it will take 20 minutes for each student to perform a pelvic exam, and to be graded and receive feedback by a resident examiner. Four exams per simulated patient would allow our research team to test 48 students over three sessions. The study will take place in the Fraser Armstrong Patient Centre of the Kingston General Hospital which has the requisite examination rooms and examination equipment. The nursing supervisor (Donna Cooper) has given approval to this educational research protocol.
To troubleshoot logistics we will run a small pilot study with four students and four simulated patients. This session will also serve to provide instructions to the mock patients and to validate our scoring system.
Limitations: Our design does not incorporate a comparison group, which would logically be third year medical students exposed to the current curriculum which incorporates GTAs. The aim of such a noninferiority trial would be to show that our web-based educational module is not inferior to the current teaching standard. Anticipating an overall pass rate of 80% and using a margin of indifference of 10%, 253 students would be required per group; 80% Power; 5% alpha level (Pocock 2003). Recognizing that this sample size is clearly not feasible; we have elected to go with this non-comparative design. We believe this study will provide relevant data that can be applied to our medical education curricula, possibly resulting in substantial savings of both time and cost.
Interventions Used in this Clinical Trial
- Other: Pelvic exam video tutorial
- Bryden Magee (Meds 2010) and Dr. Robert Reid created an educational DVD © 2009 that outlines a step-by-step approach to the pelvic exam; utilizing real patient video clips and illustrations. Endorsed by the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada (APOG), this innovation has been shown to improve both knowledge and confidence in medical students learning these skills (Magee 2009). The video content has been posted on the Queen’s streaming server and incorporated into a MEdTech community accessible to all Queen’s faculty and students affiliated with the School of Medicine (in MEdTech Central see OBGYN Pelvic Exam Module under community courses).
Arms, Groups and Cohorts in this Clinical Trial
- Experimental: first year medical students
Outcome Measures for this Clinical Trial
- Score on pelvic exam assessment tool
- Time Frame: 15 minutes
Safety Issue?: No
- Time Frame: 15 minutes
Criteria for Participation in this Clinical Trial
- Year one of medical school
- Any previous clinical training in performing pelvic exams
Gender Eligibility for this Clinical Trial: Both
Minimum Age for this Clinical Trial: N/A
Maximum Age for this Clinical Trial: N/A
Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted for this Clinical Trial: Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Clinical Trial Investigator Information
- Lead Sponsor
- Queen’s University
- Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
- Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Reid, Principal Investigator – Queen’s University
- Overall Official(s)
- Robert L Reid, M.D., Principal Investigator, Queen’s University
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