Use of a Modified Journal Club and Letters to Editors to Teach Critical Appraisal Skills
Abstract:The objective of this study was to report the use of a journal club and letter to the editor writing project to teach critical appraisal skills to health sciences students. Data were collected from 22 consecutive classes (n = 907 students) between 1997 and 2003. The program took place in an 11-week evidence-based practice course in the second year of a chiropractic curriculum. After didactic preparation, students participated in several journal club exercises to appraise papers representing specific research designs. Students then critically appraised a recent article of their choice and wrote a critical appraisal essay in the form of a letter to the editor. The project was evaluated through a review of student assessment, an anonymous survey instrument, and the number of letters submitted and published. Assessments of student performance were consistently high, yielding an average score of 23.7 out of 25 possible points on an objective scale. Responses from 277 students completing a survey on their perceptions of the project were positive, indicating that the goals of the project were being met. Over the 7-year period, approximately 450 letters were written, 12 were submitted for publication, and 10 were published. The results of this study suggest that the use of a journal club and letter-to-the-editor writing project may provide a means by which health care students can gain skills in critical appraisal. Further investigation into these methods should be undertaken.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2007
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- The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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