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Keywords:

  • adaptive tutorial;
  • e-learning;
  • knowledge acquisition;
  • nursing education;
  • pressure ulcer evaluation;
  • wound image segmentation

Aims and objectives

To evaluate the effectiveness of information and communication technologies in the undergraduate students' pressure ulcer training as a learning tool, compared with traditional teaching methods.

Background

Pressure ulcers constitute one of the great challenges faced by nursing professionals. Currently, pressure ulcer training is based on traditional on-campus teaching, involving lecture-style classes with frequent use of photographs of the wounds. This traditional training has some important weaknesses that can put the efficacy of the training at risk.

Design

A randomised controlled trial was developed including undergraduate nursing students.

Methods

The intervention group used an adaptive self-learning e-learning tool developed by the research team (ePULab) for pressure ulcer assessment and treatment. The control group received a traditional on-campus class on the same topic. Pretest and post-test questionnaires were designed to assess the students' ability in pressure ulcer diagnosis and treatment.

Results

The educational intervention based on the use of the ePULab tool produced significantly better learning acquisition results than those obtained by traditional lecture-style classes: the total score improved in the control group from 8·23 (SD 1·23)–11·6 (SD 2·52) after the lecture, whereas in the intervention group, the knowledge score changed from 8·27 (SD 1·39)–15·83 (SD 2·52) (p = 0·01) with the use of ePULab.

Conclusions

The results show a higher effectiveness of the devised e-learning approach for education on management of pressure ulcers.

Relevance to clinical practice

Our results reveal the suitability of the ePULab e-learning tool as an effective instrument for training on assessment of and treatment for pressure ulcers and its potential impact on clinical decision-making.