Case-based learning in integrated management of neonatal and childhood illness

Sundaram Kartikeyan, Aniruddha A. Malgaonkar


Background: This complete-enumeration, before-and-after type of study (without controls) was conducted on 61 third-year medical students at Rajiv Gandhi Medical College, Thane, Maharashtra state to study the difference in cognitive domain scores after attending lecture-based learning (by a pre-test) and after attending case-based learning (by a post-test).

Methods: After approval from the institutional ethics committee, the purpose of the study was explained to third-year medical students and written informed consent was obtained. After curriculum-based lectures on integrated management of neonatal and childhood Illness, a pre-test was administered wherein each student was asked to fill up case sheets for five case scenarios. The maximum marks obtainable were 10 marks per case (total 50 marks).  Case-based learning was conducted in two sub-groups comprising 31 and 30 randomly assigned students by the same faculty and students in each sub-group were exposed to identical case scenarios. The post-test was conducted using case scenarios and case sheets that were identical to that of the pre-test.

Results: The overall mean score increased and the difference between the case-wise pre-test and post-test scores of both female (n=35) and male (n=26) students was highly significant (p <0.00001). However, the gender differences in pre-test score (Z=1.038; p=0.299) and post-test score were not significant (Z=0.114; p=0.909).

Conclusions: Using case scenarios augmented the cognitive domain scores of participating students and the gender differences in scores were not statistically significant. The post-test scores showed higher variability. Remedial educational interventions would be required for students who obtained low scores in the post-test.


Case-based learning, Integrated management of childhood illness, Lecture-based learning

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