Teaching medical students how to deliver diagnoses of Down syndrome: Utility of an educational tool
Patient education and counseling
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Objective: This study assessed whether using an educational tool increased the knowledge and perceived comfort level of first-year medical students in giving a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Method: A total of 295 students taking a genetics course completed a knowledge questionnaire and Situations Inventory (aimed at assessing comfort with sharing certain information), prior to and following use of Brighter Tomorrows, a web-based educational module on giving parents a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Results: The pre-intervention mean on the knowledge survey was 3.67, which significantly increased to 5.47 following the intervention. Mean Situational Inventory scores were significantly higher pre-intervention (M = 45.5), which indicates greater discomfort, compared to post-intervention (M = 36.7). Qualitative analysis of responses regarding lessons learned fell into 5 major themes. The most common theme (48% of responses) was related to communication skills. The most frequently cited lesson learned was the importance of demonstrating empathy. Conclusions: This study found that knowledge and perceived comfort levels of first-year medical students in giving a postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome were significantly increased following use of an educational tool. Practice Implications: Educational modules can provide medical students with foundational knowledge on providing distressing information to help prepare for future clinical encounters.
Jackson L, Cichon M, Kleinert H, Trepanier A. Teaching medical students how to deliver diagnoses of Down syndrome: Utility of an educational tool. Patient Educ Couns. 2020 Mar;103(3):617-625. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2019.10.011. Epub 2019 Oct 21. PMID: 31669046.