Background: No published studies have evaluated the best method of
teaching FHR interpretation. The PALM has been shown to improve learning in
skills which require pattern recognition.
Methods: All subjects underwent a pretest and received a basic
FHR physiology lecture. The subjects were then either exposed to the PALM or to
additional lecture time reviewing the details of FHR categorization. All
subjects then took a posttest, delayed test six weeks later, and survey.
Results: 16 subjects completed the PALM module and 19 were
assigned to additional lecture. Only the PALM showed significant improvement in
accuracy and fluency from the pretest to posttest (accuracy 35% vs 71%, p <
0.05; fluency 27% vs 65%, p < 0.05). Both interventions showed significant
improvement in accuracy and fluency on the delayed test reflecting learning
throughout the rotation. However, the PALM showed a significantly greater
improvement as compared to the lecture group in both the posttest (accuracy 71%
vs 47%, p < 0.05; fluency 65% vs 31%, p < 0.05) and the delayed test
(fluency 58% vs 41%, p=0.05).
Discussions: The PALM resulted in more accurate and fluent
categorization of FHR tracings compared to traditional lecture methods, and the
effect persisted on delayed testing.
Keywords: Simulation, Students, Obstetrics