Using problem-based learning for pandemic preparedness

Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2008 Mar;24(3 Suppl):S39-45. doi: 10.1016/s1607-551x(08)70093-7.


To test the hypothesis that PBL is an effective method for preparing multidisciplinary learner groups at community health centers (CHCs) for pandemics, quantitative and qualitative methods were utilized to evaluate the conduct of a PBL case of a hypothetical outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) at two CHCs in Hawaii, with multidisciplinary health professional and student participants. It was found that: (1) there was an overall increase in knowledge of bioevent preparedness; (2) participants gave high ratings for the effectiveness of the PBL process; (3) participants found value in the multidisciplinary group process; and (4) participants strongly agreed that they preferred the PBL process to the traditional lecture format for learning about bioevent preparedness. The PBL approach is useful in educating community-based health professionals from different disciplines about issues related to pandemic preparedness.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Education
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • International Cooperation
  • Mentors
  • Problem-Based Learning*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / therapy
  • Students, Medical
  • Teaching / methods