Use of a computerized risk-appraisal instrument for cancer prevention education of medical students

Kathleen M. Fairfield, Karen M. Emmons, Nancy A. Rigotti, Graham A. Colditz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Interactive computer-based tools are increasingly used for patient and medical student instruction. Method. To assess medical students' responses to a computer-based risk-appraisal instrument aimed at teaching concepts of risk and cancer prevention, and to evaluate perceived barriers to using such tools in clinical practice and knowledge about risk factors for colon cancer. Design. An electronic survey of 133 second-year medical students elicited their responses to the instrument after using it for a case-based learning exercise. Results. The students identified several potential barriers to use, including inadequate time during the office visit (75% of students) and problems with literacy (48%). They were generally knowledgeable about risk factors for colon cancer. 84% found the instrument "very helpful" or "somewhat helpful" in understanding a case patient's health and setting priorities for behavioral changes. Conclusions. Medical students may benefit from exposure to interactive, computer-based tools such as health-appraisal instruments when learning skills in risk counseling and cancer prevention. Second-year students were already concerned about having adequate time during office visits to use such instruments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-185
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Volume17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

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