Using a Computer Module to Teach Use of the EpiPen®

  • Amandeep Singh Rai Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London
  • Jordan Glicksman Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London
  • Eric Wong Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario
  • Phil Doyle Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London
  • Kevin Fung London Health Sciences Centre, London

Abstract

Background: The medical literature suggests that patients and physicians are deficient in their ability to use a self-injectable epinephrine device (EpiPen®) for management of anaphylaxis. This study aims to determine whether a computer module is an effective tool for the instruction of a technical skill to medical trainees.

Methods: We conducted a two group comparison study of 35 Post-Graduate Year 1 and 2 Family Medicine residents. Participants were instructed on use of the EpiPen® using either a written module or a computer module. Participants were evaluated on use of the EpiPen® using standardized objective outcome measures by a blinded assessor. Assessments took place prior to and following instruction, using the assigned learning modality.

Results: There were 34 participants who completed the study. Both groups demonstrated significant improvement in demonstrating use of the EpiPen® following training (p <0.001 for both). A significant post-training difference favouring the computer module learners over the written module learners was observed (p = 0.035). However, only 53% and 18% of candidates (computer module and written module, respectively) were able to correctly perform all of the checklist steps.

Conclusion: While our findings suggest computer modules represent an effective modality for teaching use of the EpiPen® to medical trainees, the low number of candidates who were able to perform all the checklist items regardless of modality needs to be addressed.

Author Biographies

Amandeep Singh Rai, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London
BHSc, MD
Jordan Glicksman, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London
MD
Eric Wong, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario
MD, CCFP
Phil Doyle, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London
PhD
Kevin Fung, London Health Sciences Centre, London
MD, FRCSC, FACS
Published
2011-11-22
Section
Major Contributions