Tamayo G, Santibanez M, Javier Meana J. Evaluation of a pharmacology educational activity based on a research project: a randomized, controlled and blind analysis of medical students' perceptions. Med Teach. 2005;27(1):53-60

PMID: 16147771


An experimental model of teaching/learning involving the formulation, execution and presentation of results of a research project has been developed and introduced as part of a Basic Pharmacology course for medical students at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). The perceptions of the students who participated in the experimental model were evaluated and compared with those who participated in a traditional model of practical activity. An 18-point questionnaire evaluated students' perceptions of aspects of the course itself (such as its duration and organization), personal response characteristics (such as entertainment, interest and effort required) and the current and future utility of the activities which had been carried out. A randomized, double-controlled and double-blind study compared experimental (n = 110) and control groups (n = 63). Students pertaining to the experimental group reported deeper satisfaction and greater participation in the activity. They evaluated more positively the utility of the educational activity for their future profession and more frequently considered that they had acquired useful skills or attitudes. Members of the experimental group recognized that they had invested more time and effort than those of the control group. No differences related to organization, support received and attitudes of teachers were observed between groups. In conclusion, a transitional intervention from traditional models towards PBL-based medical education was favourably evaluated by the participants. The activity was received with deeper satisfaction when compared with a traditional model of practical activity in Pharmacology.