Effect of online customized psychiatry teaching on the perceptions about psychiatry among undergraduate medical students: a randomized controlled study
Keywords:Innovative teaching methods, customized psychiatry teaching, medical students
Background: Student-centered innovative teaching methods are needed to increase interest in and improve perceptions about the field of Psychiatry. We aimed to assess the effect of online customized psychiatry learning on perceptions about Psychiatry among undergraduate medical students. Materials and methods: Between June to August 2021, we carried out a randomized controlled trial among second-year medical students of a teaching cum tertiary health care institution in South India. Participants (n=36) were randomized into the intervention (n=18) or control group (n=18). The intervention group received online customized psychiatry teaching in addition to the regular curriculum teaching while the control group received only regular curriculum teaching. The outcome measure studied was perceptions about Psychiatry, assessed using a structured questionnaire that was applied before and after the intervention. Results: Usable responses were obtained from 32 participants (Mean age=22.3 years, standard deviation=0.8; 50% females). At the end of the study, there was no significant difference in the scores between the groups on either the Images of Psychiatry subscale (t=1.36, p=0.18) or the Efficacy of Psychiatry subscale (t=1.56, p=0.11). However, in a within-group analysis, scores on the Images of Psychiatry subscale improved significantly in the intervention group (t= -3.65, p=0.002) but not in the control group (t= -1.18, p = 0.258). Likewise, scores on the Efficacy of Psychiatry subscale improved significantly in the intervention group (t = -3.06, p=0.008) but not in the control group (t= -0.81, p=0.432). Conclusion: Online customized psychiatry teaching did not improve perceptions about Psychiatry compared to regular curriculum teaching.
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