Formative assessment on documentation of pediatric history taking skills by undergraduate medical students

Sangeeta A, Arun Kumar T, Someshwaran R, Rajeswari Rajeswari


Introduction: Documenting pediatric history taking is an important competency required of a medical undergraduate student. Feedback is a powerful tool if provided while students are in the process of learning to document history taking. There is insufficient data in medical education to analyze the areas of concern in pediatric history taking. This study was conducted to identify and analyze the areas of concern in Pediatric case sheet writing and to assess the effect of formative assessment on case sheet writing skills. Methodology: The study was conducted as a comparative study among sixth semester undergraduate students who underwent Pediatric clinical posting for one month. By the end of first 15 days students were made to interview a standardized patient and document history taking in the case sheet and marks awarded based on a checklist. Their views were collected through a questionnaire. Feedback was provided before the start of next session. The same teaching learning schedule was repeated during the second half of posting and results were analyzed. Results: The areas of concern were growth and development (mean 2.76), immunization (mean2.87), nutrition and personal history (mean 2.92). Analysis of test scores established that formative assessment had a statistically significant positive effect on Pediatric case sheet writing skills (p<0.001). Perception of the students regarding their understanding of various components in history taking assessed through questionnaire is significant following feedback (p<0.001). Conclusion: Formative assessment done at periodic interval helps the instructor to assess the students’ achievement skills and to identify and correct the concern areas. Structured formative assessment as an educational tool significantly enhances the undergraduate medical students’ pediatric history documentation skills.

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