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How a mobile app supports the learning and practice of newly qualified doctors in the UK: an intervention study

Bullock, Alison Deborah, Dimond, Rebecca, Webb, Katie Louise, Lovatt, Joseph, Hardyman, Wendy and Stacey, Mark Reginald William 2015. How a mobile app supports the learning and practice of newly qualified doctors in the UK: an intervention study. BMC Medical Education 15 (1) , 71. 10.1186/s12909-015-0356-8

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Abstract

Background The transition from medical school to the workplace can be demanding, with high expectations placed on newly qualified doctors. The provision of up-to-date and accurate information is essential to support doctors at a time when they are managing increased responsibility for patient care. In August 2012, the Wales Deanery issued the Dr.Companion© software with five key medical textbooks (the iDoc app) to newly qualified doctors (the intervention). The aim of the study was to examine how a smartphone app with key medical texts was used in clinical workplace settings by newly qualified doctors in relation to other information sources and to report changes over time. Methods Participants (newly qualified - Foundation Year 1 - doctors) completed a baseline questionnaire before downloading the iDoc app to their own personal smartphone device. At the end of Foundation Year 1 participants (n = 125) completed exit questionnaires one year later. We used Wilcoxon Signed Rank test to analyse matched quantitative data. Results We report significant changes in our participants’ use of workplace information resources over the year. Respondents reduced their use of hard-copy and electronic versions of texts on PCs but made more use of senior medical staff. There was no significant difference in the use of peers and other staff as information sources. We found a significant difference in how doctors felt about using a mobile device containing textbooks in front of patients and senior medical staff in the workplace. Conclusions Our study indicates that a mobile app enabling timely, internet-free access to key textbooks supports the learning and practice of newly qualified doctors. Although participants changed their use of other resources in the workplace, they continued to consult with seniors. Rather than over-reliance on technology, these findings suggest that the app was used strategically to complement, not replace discussion with members of the medical team. Participants’ uncertainty about using a mobile device with textbook app in front of others eased over time.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Unit for Research and Evaluation in Medical and Dental Education (CUREMeDE)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1472-6920
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 02:30
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/72729

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