Evaluation methods for prevention education

Acad Med. 2000 Jul;75(7 Suppl):S28-34. doi: 10.1097/00001888-200007001-00005.


The knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with prevention cut across clinical disciplines. Thus, they are often subsets of disciplines not otherwise present in the traditional curriculum (e.g., epidemiology or statistics) or considered the province of many disciplines (e.g., risk reduction or cancer screening). Evaluation of elements of prevention education can often become lost in the myriad other outcomes that are assessed in students, or they are intermingled with other content and skills. This article highlights the value of assessing students' competence in prevention knowledge, skills, and attitudes, provides general guidance for programs interested in evaluating their prevention instructional efforts, and gives specific examples of possible methods for evaluating prevention education. While it is important to tailor assessment methods to local institutional objectives, it is possible to share assessment methods and materials regionally and nationally. Sharing problems, as well as successes, encountered in developing appropriate assessment methods will advance the field of evaluation of prevention curricula.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence
  • Computer Simulation
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Epidemiology / education
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Physicians
  • Preventive Medicine / education*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Statistics as Topic / education
  • Students, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires