Effectiveness of E-learning Compared to Classroom Learning in the Diagnostic Approach to Bioterrorism and Chemical Terrorism for Emergency Physicians

Mustafa Alavi-Moghaddam, Gheysar Molavi, Ali Shahrami, Hamidreza Hatamabadi, Majid Shojaei, Kamran Heidari



Background and purpose: Emergency physicians play an important role in the immediate diagnosis of bioterrorism activities. The present study was conducted with the purpose of comparing the effectiveness of e-learning and classroom learning in approach to bioterrorism and chemical terrorism for emergency physicians.
Methods: This was a semi-empirical study, which was conducted via testing knowledge before and after the educational intervention in the field of bioterrorism and chemical terrorism on the emergency physicians in Tehran. The external validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by two academic experts in order to determine the ability to detect bioterrorist and chemical terrorist diseases. In this study, education was done in both virtual and classroom forms. The education regarded 6 bioterrorist diseases in group A (anthrax, plague, viral hemorrhagic fever, tularemia, smallpox), and 5 chemical terrorist diseases (nerve gas, mustard, lewisite, phosgene, chlorine).
Results: 160 doctors participated in this study. 96 people (60%) were men and 64 people (40%) were women. The average age of the participants was 36.2±5.5 years. In e-learning method, the pre-test scores average was (30.6%), while the post-test scores average was (81.6%) (p=0.001). In classroom learning method, the pre-test scores average was (41.9%), while the post-test scores average was (72.9%), which the pre-test and post-test scores average differences in both cases are significant (p<0.001). In e-learning method, the difference was (51%), and in the classroom method it was (31%), which these two represent a 20% difference between methods. From statistical point of view, this difference indicates that the e-learning method being more effective (p=0.02).
Conclusions: Based on the study results, it seems that in comparison to the classroom learning, e-learning method is more effective in helping emergency physicians to diagnose bioterrorism or chemical terrorism factors.



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/jme.v14i2.9458

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