Can Blended Classroom and Distributed Learning Approaches be Used to Teach Medical Students How to Initiate Behavior Change Counseling During a Clinical Clerkship?

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Abstract

Medical school curricula often provide insufficient time and instruction for health behavior change counseling. We examined the feasibility of blending classroom and distributed learning experiences to teach medical students how to initiate health behavior change counseling and analyzed the impact of this approach on their attitudes, knowledge, and skills. Usage patterns and pre- to post-class attitude and knowledge changes were assessed with self-report questions among 153 third year family medicine clerkship students. Most students viewed at least 90% of the online written content and took an average of 41 min (SD = 24 min 35 s) to view all of the content. Students' confidence in their ability to help patients change unhealthy behaviors significantly improved (p < .01). The blended learning curriculum facilitated learning of behavior change skills, encouraged interaction with course materials, and improved medical students' self confidence for using health behavior change skills.

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