Using tablet computers to teach evidence-based medicine to pediatrics residents: A prospective study

David B. Soma, Jason H. Homme, Robert M. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective We sought to determine if tablet computers - supported by a laboratory experience focused upon skill-development - would improve not only evidence-based medicine (EBM) knowledge but also skills and behavior. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study where we provided tablet computers to our pediatric residents and then held a series of laboratory sessions focused on speed and efficiency in performing EBM at the bedside. We evaluated the intervention with pre- and postintervention tests and surveys based on a validated tool available for use on MedEdPORTAL. The attending pediatric hospitalists also completed surveys regarding their observations of the residents' behavior. Results All 38 pediatric residents completed the preintervention test and the pre- and postintervention surveys. All but one completed the posttest. All 7 attending pediatric hospitalists completed their surveys. The testing, targeted to assess EBM knowledge, revealed a median increase of 16 points out of a possible 60 points (P <.0001). We found substantial increases in individual resident's test scores across all 3 years of residency. Resident responses demonstrated statistically significant improvements in self-reported comfort with 6 out of 6 EBM skills and statistically significant increases in self-reported frequencies for 4 out of 7 EBM behaviors. Attending pediatric hospitalists reported improvements in 5 of 7 resident behaviors. Conclusions This novel approach for teaching EBM to pediatric residents improved knowledge, skills, and behavior through the introduction of a tablet computer and laboratory sessions designed to teach the quick and efficient application of EBM at the bedside.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-550
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • computers
  • education, medical, graduate
  • evidence-based medicine
  • teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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