Is community-based electrocardiography education feasible in the early phase of an undergraduate medical curriculum?
Accreditation authorities expect medical schools to increase their teaching standards and civic engagement, despite limited resources. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of community-based (CB) electrocardiography (ECG) instruction in semesters 4 and/or 5 of the undergraduate MBChB programme at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. A literature review and 34 structured interviews were employed, using a mixed-methods QUAN (þqual) research design. Regarding the preclinical phase, 18 interviewees strongly supported community-based learning (CBL) and 21 strongly supported task-based (TB) CBL. Responses were more conservative regarding the
practicability of TB CBL. Twenty-two interviewees supported preclinical phase ECG-specific CBL. There was more support for implementing CB ECG in the clinical phase than in the preclinical phase. Challenges identified included finances, transport, personnel availability, clinic space, curriculum time constraints, student and driver absenteeism, and ethical aspects. Solutions for the preclinical phase included combining electrocardiography with other CBL tasks. Many interviewees supported preclinical phase TB CBL, although several factors determine its feasibility. Availability of human and other resources and curriculum time significantly impact CB ECG learning. Solutions necessitate additional locationspecific research.
Keywords: Electrocardiography, ECG, Training, Education, Medical curriculum, Undergraduate
The author(s) retain copyright on work published by AOSIS unless specified otherwise.
Licensing and publication rights
Author(s) of work published by AOSIS are required to grant AOSIS the unlimited rights to publish the definitive work in any format, language and medium, for any lawful purpose. AOSIS requires journal authors to publish their work in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.
The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the published article(s), provided attribution is given to the applicable journal with details of the original publication, as set out in the official citation of the article published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the article on the authors’ or their institution’s websites or in institutional repositories.
Previously published work may have been published under a different licence. We advise the community that if they would like to reuse the work to consult the applicable licence at article level.
Note: If you need to comply with your funding body policy, you can apply for the CC BY license after your manuscript is accepted for publication.