Effectiveness of SNAPPS for improving clinical reasoning in postgraduates: randomized controlled trial

BMC Med Educ. 2019 Jun 21;19(1):224. doi: 10.1186/s12909-019-1670-3.

Abstract

Background: In-patient postgraduate teaching suffers with issues like long and unstructured presentations inclusive of a lot of historical information and time constraints due to increasing workload. A six-step pneumonic SNAPPS a learner-centered model modifies the learning encounter by condensing the reporting of facts while encouraging clinical reasoning. This study was planned with the aim to evaluate the effectiveness of SNAPPS as compared to traditional case presentation for facilitating clinical reasoning in inpatient setting. We also wanted to understand perceptions of postgraduates and teachers about this new method of case presentation.

Methods: This open labeled randomized controlled trial was carried amongst the 18 residents of department of Medicine, MGIMS. The teachers and residents in the SNAPPS were sensitized to SNAPPS technique by using videos, role plays and handouts over 2 sessions of 30 min each. Twenty-seven case presentations (3/resident) were carried out in each group (total 54 case presentations). Data was recorded into validated data recording sheet after each presentation and feedback was taken from the teacher as well as residents regarding their perception.

Results: The SNAPPS model heralds a change in the preceptor training, pairing faulty development and learner development as companions in education. Guided by the SNAPPS technique, students summarized patient findings concisely (7 vs. 2.7 vs. 5.22vs. 2.33, p = 0.0057) while maintaining the same degree of thoroughness as in traditional case presentations. The students in the SNAPPS group were clearer about their diagnostic hypothesis and compared and contrasted their different diagnosis well (2.56 vs. 1.74, p value =0.002). The students in the SNAPPS group initiated patient management discussion almost 20% more times as compared to the control group.

Conclusion: We conclude that SNAPPS a learner centered technique for case presentations facilitated the expression of clinical diagnostic reasoning and case based uncertainties in the inpatient setting without extending the unusual length of the student case presentations. It also paved way for enhanced self-directed learning.

Keywords: Inpatient learning; Postgraduates; SNAPPS; Teaching; Traditional method.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship / standards*
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • Preceptorship
  • Problem Solving