CAN FACEBOOK® BE USED TO ADMINISTER A DISTANCE-LEARNING MODULE OF EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE? AN OBSERVATIONAL STUDY|
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