Session Title: Medical Education
Session Type: Abstract Submissions (ACR)
Background/Purpose: Self-efficacy and peer connectivity are important in career choice, productivity, and persistence. Applying adult, critical, and social learning theory, we broadened a traditional journal club format into an Epidemiology Curriculum for Rheumatology trainees, to foster critical appraisal self-efficacy and peer support in clinical research.
Methods: Rheumatology faculty at a single center developed learning objectives with input from trainees. All year 1 adult and pediatric rheumatology trainees, as well as those in years 2 and 3 of the clinical/translational research track participated. The group met 27 times from 9/2012-6/2013.
Clinically relevant, methodologically important articles were reviewed in 19 sessions. Participants joined facilitators to critique articles through questions on study design, chance, bias, confounding, generalizability and significance. Participants identified knowledge gaps, reflected on related clinical and research experiences, suggested alternative methodologic approaches, and debated implications. Faculty facilitated 16 sessions. With faculty support, 3rd year trainees each facilitated 1 session. Each of 5 2nd year trainees had one session to present their own research in progress. Challenges were highlighted and solutions sought through peer consultation followed by reflection and follow up to address barriers.
Baseline and year-end questionnaires examined trainees’ experience, critical appraisal skills, attitudes, behaviors and suggestions. Perspectives on curriculum format/content were also captured mid-year and year-end. The primary outcome was change in critical appraisal self-efficacy.
Results: 12 trainees participated; all had experience in clinical research. 75% had taken epidemiology courses. After exposure to the curriculum, the proportion of participants reporting “a lot” of confidence in their “ability to critically evaluate study design” increased from 16% to 58%, (p=0.09, Fisher Exact Test). Self-efficacy regarding ability to evaluate bias, statistics and quality of a study increased by 17%, 8%, and 17%, respectively.
17% reported more thorough reading habits. 33% reported an increase critically evaluating study results.
Participants considered the epidemiology curriculum worthwhile, with positive personal impact. Participants highlighted the importance of a comfortable learning environment and clinical relevance in article selection.
Participants presenting research in progress attributed revision of study aims, hypotheses, protocols, and analyses to the curriculum. Participants developed timelines to achieve the goals of research dissemination. Peers’ perspectives and solutions were considered valuable. Research discussions enhanced participants’ sense of peer connectivity and likelihood to discuss research.
Conclusion: Although small numbers preclude statistically significant results, application of adult, critical, and social learning theory in an Epidemiology Curriculum for Rheumatology trainees has the potential to promote self-efficacy related to critical appraisal, peer connectivity, and clinical research project development.
A. R. Bass,
S. A. Paget,
L. A. Mandl,
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/promoting-critical-appraisal-self-efficacy-and-peer-connectivity-with-an-epidemiology-curriculum-for-rheumatology-trainees/