Access, attitudes and training in information technologies and evidence-based medicine among medical students at University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences
Background: The Medical Education Partnership Initiative, has helped to mitigate the digital divide in Africa.The aim of the study was to assess the level of access, attitude, and training concerning meaningful use of electronic resources and EBM among medical students at an African medical school.
Methods: The study involved medical students at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences, Harare. The needs assessment tool consisted of a 21-question, paper-based, voluntary and anonymous survey.
Results: A total of 61/67 (91%), responded to the survey. 60% of the medical students were ‘third-year medical students’. Among medical students, 85% of responders had access to digital medical resources, but 54% still preferred printed medical textbooks. Although 25% of responders had received training in EBM, but only 7% found it adequate. 98% of the participants did not receive formal training in journal club presentation or analytical reading of medical literature, but 77 % of them showed interest in learning these skills.
Conclusion: Lack of training in EBM, journal club presentation and analytical reading skills have limited the impact of upgraded technology in enhancing the level of knowledge. This impact can be boosted by developing a curriculum with skills
necessary in using EBM.
Keywords: Information technologies, evidence-based medicine, medical students, University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences.
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