Objectives: Self-efficacy is defined as a person's beliefs in his or her abilities to successfully complete a task, and has been shown to influence student motivation and academic achievement. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a new European teaching module in occupational medicine on undergraduate students' self-efficacy and knowledge in the subject matter.
Methods: Pre-, in-between, and posttraining tests were used to assess self-efficacy and knowledge building of 261 third-year medical students on occupational health issues. Determinants of self-efficacy and knowledge were also identified. Repeated measurement data were analyzed with multilevel statistical procedures.
Results: The level of self-efficacy and knowledge in occupational medicine increased after the training. Students who frequently attended the lectures scored significantly higher than sporadic attendees. There was no relation between the level of self-efficacy and the final knowledge score.
Conclusions: Teaching with the new occupational medicine module was effective. Lecture attendance is an important determinant of self-efficacy and performance. Self-efficacy was not associated with knowledge score. Encouraging classroom participation may enhance student achievement.