Background: Journal club is a standard component of residency education. Journal club focuses on review and interpretation of the medical literature with varying degrees of evidence-based medicine (EBM) education.
Objectives: To evaluate learning of EBM principles with an EBM curriculum implemented as a component of journal club. EBM competency was established using the Fresno test, a validated 12-question instrument of short-answer and essay-style questions to assess competency in EBM.
Methods: An EBM curriculum was implemented that consisted of a focus on EBM topics (e.g., study validity, bias, confidence intervals, search strategies) using a structured journal club format using a peer instruction model. The Fresno test was used prior to and after the implementation of the first year of this curriculum to measure effectiveness of the intervention. A hierarchical multivariable model using generalized estimating equations was used to account for repeated measures in the primary outcome of change in total Fresno test score.
Results: The total test scores did not increase significantly (105.4 vs. 120.9, p = 0.058) in the before-after analysis. The only subscore showing improvement was interpretation of study validity (32.1 vs. 40.4 points, p = 0.03). Attendance was significantly associated with Fresno test score, with those attending ≥ 6/11 sessions (55%) scoring 28.2 points higher (p = 0.003), and those attending fewer than six sessions scoring only 1.9 points higher (p = 0.81) than in the preintervention group.
Conclusion: An EBM curriculum implemented as part of journal club improves performance on the Fresno test among residents who attended at least six journal club sessions.
Keywords: Fresno test; education; educational measurement; evidence-based medicine; internship and residency; medical.
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