Geriatric assessment in undergraduate geriatric education – a structured interpretation guide improves the quantity and accuracy of the results: a cohort comparison
Department of Primary Care, Leipzig Medical School, Philipp-Rosenthal-Straße 55, Leipzig 04103, Germany
BMC Medical Education 2013, 13:116 doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-116Published: 30 August 2013
With regard to the growing proportion of elderly multimorbid patients, a sound undergraduate geriatric education becomes more important. Therefore we included the execution and interpretation of a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) into a mandatory two-week clerkship at a general practitioner's office. The present study examined the effect of a guide structuring the students’ considerations when interpreting a CGA on the quantity and accuracy of the documented findings and conclusions.
We compared random samples out of two cohorts of fourth-year medical students (interpreting the CGA with and without using the structured interpretation guide) completing their clerkship between April 2006 and March 2008 with regard to the content of the CGA interpretation and the grades the students achieved for their clerkship documentation, which were substantially determined by the quantity and accuracy of the documentation and interpretation of the CGA.
The structured interpretation guide led to significantly more mentions of aspects that have to be considered in geriatric patient care and to a higher documentation rate of respective positive results. Furthermore, students who analysed the CGA by using the interpretation guide achieved significantly better grades.
An additional tool structuring medical students’ considerations when interpreting a CGA increases the quantity and the accuracy of the documented findings and conclusions. This may enhance the students’ learning gain.