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Rwanda Medical Journal
Rwanda Health Communication Center - Rwanda Biomedical Center (RHCC - RBC)
ISSN: 2079-097X
EISSN: 2079-097X
Vol. 74, No. 1, 2017, pp. 14-18
Bioline Code: rw17005
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Rwanda Medical Journal, Vol. 74, No. 1, 2017, pp. 14-18

Cartledge, P.; Miller, M. & Phillips, R.


Introduction: There is a small volume of published literature describing the use of social networking sites, such as Facebook®, in medical education. However where this literature is available, only poor outcome measures such as learner satisfaction have been measured.

Objectives: The primary aim of this study was to create and measure the use of a novel distance-learning module on the practice of evidence based medicine (EBM). This programme was to be delivered using an established and free web-based social-networking site, Facebook®.

Methods: A prospective observational study was performed. 31 postgraduate residents enrolled to participate in a module that was delivered by Facebook® over five simultaneous weeks. A standardised tool, the Columbia EBM Instrument, was used to measure outcome measures such as “comfort-level”, “self-reported practice”, and “knowledge” before and after the module.

Results: 12 residents (40%) engaged with the Facebook® activities. The residents’ knowledge of EBM did increase, though a quasiexperimental analysis revealed that this increase of knowledge could not be attributed to the Facebook® group.were aged 3 years and younger. Scalds were by far the commonest type of burn occurring in 93% of the patients. Partial thickness burns accounted for 91.7% of cases. The average length of hospital stay was 20.9 days and the mortality rate 16.7%. Total Body Surface Area (TBSA) burned greater than 25% and full thickness burns were associated with mortality.

Conclusion: Residents did not engage with the Facebook® groups despite the feasibility of doing so being high. The results of this study should guide educators to use Facebook® with caution as students may not engage with the activities.

Medical Education; Social Media; Social Networking; Evidence-Based Medicine

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