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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 201-211

A Computer-Based Epidemiological Skills Module for Medical Undergraduates in Nepal

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal
2 Consultant Medical Educationist, World Health Organization, Kathmandu, Nepal

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A S Bose
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Objective: To ascertain whether undergraduate medical students could acquire the basic competence needed to design, analyze and use a computer-ompatible database in an epidemiologically meaningful way. Setting: Since 1998 the Manipal College of Medical Sciences (MCOMS) of Kathmandu University (KU), Nepal has included in its undergraduate medical curriculum a training module that incorporates knowledge and skills in doing computer-assisted data analyses of epidemiological questions. The present study was designed around the implementation of this module. Subjects: All 96 students of the seventh semester (first six months of the fourth year) of the MBBS course at the MCOMS. Methods: The teaching-learning activities for the module were carried out mainly in six 2-hour sessions, for groups of 16 students at a time. The software used was EPI-INFO. Main outcome measures: Knowledge and skills of computer-assisted data analyses were assessed. In addition, feedback was obtained from the students and scored on seven dimensions. Findings: The pre-test/post-test questionnaire score difference, which evaluated the knowledge component, was highly significant (t 5 51.3, p , 0.001). In the skills assessment session, 83% were successful. The students gave high average scores on the satisfaction, small group learning environment, curricular relevance and evaluation dimensions; but the scores were relatively low on the time, other resources and confidence dimensions. Conclusion: The module was successful in achieving its objectives and can be implemented even under tight resource constraints. Our plans for improving upon this first run of the module are outlined in the paper.

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