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Journal of Nursing Research and Practice

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Case-based physiology instruction for nursing students: effectiveness

Author(s): Michael Paxton*

Objectives: Teaching basic sciences using case studies is a relatively recent concept. Despite the fact that this method has been utilized in medical education for a long time, there have been few attempts to test its efficacy in nursing students. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of didactic versus case-based physiology instruction among our college's second-year nursing students. Methods: The students served as their own controls in a descriptive cross-over research in which they were assessed after each of two sessions. Traditional lectures were used to teach intestinal physiology to the students in the first session. The same students were taught renal physiology utilizing a case-based approach in the second session by the same instructor. After each session, multiple-choice questions were used to measure and compare each student's comprehension. Students completed a questionnaire at the end of the two sessions to rate the teaching method. To examine differences, paired t tests were utilized. Results: Following didactic lectures (mean, 17.53), test performance was statistically substantially better than after case-based teaching (mean, 16.47) (two-tailed p 14 0.003). However, 65-72 percent of students believed that case-based learning increased their understanding of the material more than lectures. Conclusions: Although students' feedback indicated that case-based teaching could be used as an alternative to lectures and may facilitate skill acquisition, which is considered to be important in professional problem-solving during nursing care, the students' feedback indicated that case-based teaching could be used as an alternative to lectures and may facilitate skills acquisition.


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