Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/142402
Title: Effectiveness of digital education on communication skills among medical students : systematic review and meta-analysis by the digital health education collaboration
Authors: Kyaw, Bhone Myint
Posadzki, Pawel
Paddock, Sophie
Car, Josip
Campbell, James
Car, Lorainne Tudor
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Kyaw, B. M., Posadzki, P., Paddock, S., Car, J., Campbell, J., & Car, L. T. (2019). Effectiveness of digital education on communication skills among medical students : systematic review and meta-analysis by the digital health education collaboration. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(8), e12967-. doi:10.2196/12967
Journal: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Abstract: Background: Effective communication skills are essential in diagnosis and treatment processes and in building the doctor-patient relationship. Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of digital education in medical students for communication skills development. Broadly, we assessed whether digital education could improve the quality of future doctors’ communication skills. Methods: We performed a systematic review and searched seven electronic databases and two trial registries for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cluster RCTs (cRCTs) published between January 1990 and September 2018. Two reviewers independently screened the citations, extracted data from the included studies, and assessed the risk of bias. We also assessed the quality of evidence using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations assessment (GRADE). Results: We included 12 studies with 2101 medical students, of which 10 were RCTs and two were cRCTs. The digital education included online modules, virtual patient simulations, and video-assisted oral feedback. The control groups included didactic lectures, oral feedback, standard curriculum, role play, and no intervention as well as less interactive forms of digital education. The overall risk of bias was high, and the quality of evidence ranged from moderate to very low. For skills outcome, meta-analysis of three studies comparing digital education to traditional learning showed no statistically significant difference in postintervention skills scores between the groups (standardized mean difference [SMD]=–0.19; 95% CI –0.9 to 0.52; I2=86%, N=3 studies [304 students]; small effect size; low-quality evidence). Similarly, a meta-analysis of four studies comparing the effectiveness of blended digital education (ie, online or offline digital education plus traditional learning) and traditional learning showed no statistically significant difference in postintervention skills between the groups (SMD=0.15; 95% CI –0.26 to 0.56; I2=86%; N=4 studies [762 students]; small effect size; low-quality evidence). The additional meta-analysis of four studies comparing more interactive and less interactive forms of digital education also showed little or no difference in postintervention skills scores between the two groups (SMD=0.12; 95% CI: –0.09 to 0.33; I2=40%; N=4 studies [893 students]; small effect size; moderate-quality evidence). For knowledge outcome, two studies comparing the effectiveness of blended online digital education and traditional learning reported no difference in postintervention knowledge scores between the groups (SMD=0.18; 95% CI: –0.2 to 0.55; I2=61%; N=2 studies [292 students]; small effect size; low-quality evidence). The findings on attitudes, satisfaction, and patient-related outcomes were limited or mixed. None of the included studies reported adverse outcomes or economic evaluation of the interventions. Conclusions: We found low-quality evidence showing that digital education is as effective as traditional learning in medical students’ communication skills training. Blended digital education seems to be at least as effective as and potentially more effective than traditional learning for communication skills and knowledge. We also found no difference in postintervention skills between more and less interactive forms of digital education. There is a need for further research to evaluate the effectiveness of other forms of digital education such as virtual reality, serious gaming, and mobile learning on medical students’ attitude, satisfaction, and patient-related outcomes as well as the adverse effects and cost-effectiveness of digital education.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/142402
ISSN: 1439-4456
DOI: 10.2196/12967
Rights: © 2019 Bhone Myint Kyaw, Pawel Posadzki, Sophie Paddock, Josip Car, James Campbell, Lorainne Tudor Car. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 27.08.2019. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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