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Title: Enhancing disaster preparedness among pre-clinical year medical students with a 1-day concentrated curriculum with a blended-learning approach: A mixed-method feasibility study
Author(s): Yip, Jeffrey Yuk Chiu 
Author(s): Fan, K. K. L.
Leung, L. P.
Issue Date: 2016
Journal: Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine 
Volume: 23
Issue: 5
Start page: 316
End page: 317
Background: A number of competency-based models of disaster medicine curricula were conceptualised as an integral part in disaster preparedness and management. There has been, however, concern about the sub-optimal adoption of these models by medical schools around the world. In Hong Kong, disaster medicine education was not contemplated in the current undergraduate medical curriculum. Therefore, a 1-day (8-hour) multi-faceted curriculum structure with a blended-learning approach was proposed as a concentrated program to enhance disaster and emergency preparedness for medical students.

Objective: This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed program in enhancing disaster preparedness among year 3 medical students.

Methods: The program consisted of a 3-hour didactic session and a 5-hour drill with 4 disaster scenarios. 193 medical students participated. A convergent parallel mixed-method design was used (1) to evaluate the structure and perceived utility of the proposed curriculum, and (2) to explore student's perceptions and formative feedback towards a blended-learning approach as the delivery mode of this curriculum. Quantitative data were derived from a structured questionnaire with a 5-point Likert-type of response scale, whereas qualitative data were obtained through semi-structured interviews with students (n=12), as well as field notes from observers of the teaching team.

Results: From the 124 self-administered questionnaires, over 80% respondents rated positively on all the seven assessment items that evaluates the structure and utility of the program. Of note, 87.9% respondents agreed that the program was well-organised and able to assist learners to achieve the program goals and objectives in enhancing disaster preparedness (mean score±standard deviation= 4.0±0.6). 91.1% respondents appreciated the professionalism of the teaching team, which comprised of experienced field practitioners with medical, nursing, and paramedical expertise in disaster management. Over 73% of respondents indicated that the use of blended-learning approach facilitates their learning across eight major components in the program (range of score: 3.8 to 4.2), in particular for the practice of field triage in a mass-casualty incident. Thematic analysis identified 2 domains for success of this curriculum, which are (1) knowledge enrichment and skill-set empowerment, and (2) experiential pedagogy with real-life simulations.

Conclusion: The proposed concentrated curriculum structure represents a feasible and easily-adopted program for preclinical year medical students to enhance disaster preparedness. Empirical evidence from this feasibility study can be further utilised by medical educators to substantiate the formation of deepening courses related to disaster medicine in their institutions.
CIHE Affiliated Publication: No
Appears in Collections:HS Publication

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