Background: The objective of this study was to compare concept mapping with lecture-based method in teaching of evidence based educated topic to medical students.
Methods: This randomized controlled trial was carried out on medical students during sixth year of 7-year MD curriculum clerkship phase. Cluster randomization was used to divide students into intervention and control groups. Both groups, at the beginning, were taught "Diabetic Ketoacidosis" (DKA) using evidence-based tool named Critically Appraised Topics (CAT). Students of intervention group were taught construction of concept maps on DKA and in the control group students had a lecture and a group discussion about what they had been taught on DKA. In the end, all of the students had an exam that they had to answer to 7 questions following to two clinical scenarios. The questions addressed physiopathology, diagnosis and treatment of patients with DKA and were scored separately. Sum of these scores was considered as total score. Scores were compared between intervention and control groups.
Results: Seventy six medical students (28 male, 48 female) were participated in this study. Total score among intervention group was higher than control group (78.2% vs. 72.5%, p < 0.001). Subgroup analysis revealed significant differences between scores of students in the intervention group and scores of students in the control group in the diagnostic section of questions (81.0% vs. 71.5%, P < 0.001). The scores of students in the intervention group were also significantly higher than control group in physiopathology section of questions. No statistically significant difference was discovered between two groups in scores of answers to treatment section of questions (78.1 (7.3) vs. 72.5 (5.5) P = 0.03).
Conclusion: The results of the study showed that concept mapping method was more successful in education of evidence-based educated topic via CATs in comparison with lecture-based method. Interpretation of this finding would be the concept mapping method may develop meaningful learning among medical students.
Keywords: Concept mapping; Evidence-based medicine; Lecture-based teaching; Medical education; Medical students.