Can e-learning improve medical students' knowledge and competence in paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation? A prospective before and after study

Authors

  • Fenton M O'Leary,

    Corresponding author
    1. Emergency Department, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead
    2. Disciplines of Emergency Medicine and Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Philip Janson

    1. Emergency Department, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead
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  • Fenton M O'Leary, MB BS, MRCS, DCH, FCEM, FACEM, Staff Specialist, Clinical Senior Lecturer; Philip Janson, MB BS, Paediatric Emergency Fellow.

Dr Fenton M O'Leary, Emergency Department. The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia. Email: fentono@chw.edu.au

Abstract

Objective:  To determine whether the use of an e-learning package was able to improve the knowledge and competence of medical students, in a simulated paediatric resuscitation.

Methods:  A prospective before and after study was performed with medical students at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Australia. Participants undertook a simulated paediatric resuscitation before and after completing the e-learning. Primary outcome measures were the ability to perform successful basic life support and advanced life support according to published guidelines. Secondary outcome measures were the individual steps in performing the overall resuscitation, the change in pre- and post-e-learning multiple choice question scores and subjective feedback from participants.

Results:  A total of 28 students were enrolled in the study, with 26 being retested. There was an improvement of 57.7% from 30.8% to 88.5% (P < 0.001, 95% CI 34.9–80.5%) in basic life support competence and an improvement from 0% to 80.0% (P < 0.001, 95% CI 61.8–99.8%) in advanced life support competence. Significant improvements were seen in all secondary outcomes particularly time to rhythm recognition and time to first defibrillation (P < 0.001). Multiple choice question test scores showed a significant improvement of 27.8% or 6.4 marks (95% CI 5.3–7.5, P < 0.001).

Conclusion:  E-learning does improve both the knowledge and competence of medical students in paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation at least in the simulation environment.

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