Findings from an evaluation of PlanAlyzer's double cross-over trials of computer-based, self-paced, case-based programs in anemia and chest pain diagnosis.

H. C. Lyon, J. C. Healy, J. R. Bell, J. F. O'Donnell, E. K. Shultz, R. S. Wigton, F. Hirai, J. R. Beck

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We report on three years of research trials of the PlanAlyzer I Project--a carefully controlled research study using a microcomputer-based, self-paced, case-based, event-driven system for medical education. PlanAlyzer presents cases, elicits and critiques a second year student's approach to the diagnosis of anemias and chest pain. PlanAlyzer uses text, hypertext, images and critiquing theory. Students were randomized, one half becoming the experimental group who received the interactive PlanAlyzer cases in anemia, the other half becoming the controls who received the exact same content material in a text format. Later in each year there was a crossover, the controls becoming the experimentals for a similar intervention with the cardiology PlanAlyzer cases. Results at the end of the first two years of trials show that the programs have achieved some significant efficiency and economy gains. 96 faculty hours of classroom time were saved by using PlanAlyzer in their place, with no loss in student achievement. In terms of student proficiency and efficiency, combining the anemia and cardiology trials, the 328 students in the two years of full scale trials were able to accomplish the project's instructional objectives. The experimentals accomplished this in 43% less time than the controls. On the average, for both the anemia and chest pain programs, this amounted to students spending 7.5 hours longer on the 30 text cases than on the same 30 computer cases to achieve the same level of mastery. There have been no significant proficiency differences (as measured by current post-tests) between the experimental and control groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings / the ... Annual Symposium on Computer Application [sic] in Medical Care. Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care
Publication statusPublished - 1991


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