Peer-assisted teaching at the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences: A prospective observational study

  • F.M. Mugadza
  • M. Mushaninga
  • N. Moyo
  • S. Shumbairerwa
  • F.D. Madzimbamuto


Objectives: We describe the effects of peer-assisted learning, focusing on the practical proficiency of the trainees to perform one particular regional anaesthesia technique. We also describe the effect the peer assisted learning had on patient service provision.

Design: This was a prospective observational study of the23 students in the department at the time. It was conducted at the two teaching hospitals Parirenyatwa and Harare Central Hospitals in 3 stages. Stage 1 Initial assessment of the trainees and audit of theatre registers, stage 2 the setup and implementation of the module and stage 3 reassessment after the setup and implementation. The Data was analysed using a Students t test, Chi square test and descriptive statistics used to report.

Setting: Special Referral Hospital.

Subjects: Medical students in the department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine.

Main Outcome Measures: Performance of the Supraclavicular Brachial Plexus Block.

Results: There was a statistically significant increase in the number of trainees who had performed a supraclavicular brachial plexus block from 2 (8.7%) to 15 (65.3%), [p=0.001]. The number of blocks performed increased from 0-47.6% [p=0.000] and 1.7%-20.8% [p=0.0005] at Parirenyatwa and Harare Central Hospitals respectively. Twenty two of the 23 students thought the module beneficial.

Conclusion: Introduction of a peer assisted learning module improved learning of fellow trainees and ensured more had acquired the skill. This resulted in more patients in whom the technique was indicated receiving the beneficial service. Thus peer assisted teaching functioned as a good adjunct to traditional methods.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0008-9176