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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Volume 18; 2021 > Article
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2021; 18: 14.
Published online July 5, 2021.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2021.18.14
Effects of a curriculum integrating critical thinking on medical students’ critical thinking ability in Iran: a quasi-experimental study
Akbar Soltani1  , Mahboobeh Khabaz Mafinejad2  , Maryam Tajik3  , Hamideh Moosapour1  , Taha Bayat3  , Fatemeh Mohseni2,4 
1Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Evidence Based Medicine Office, College of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Education Development Center (EDC), Department of Medical Education, Health Professions Education Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3Students’ Scientific Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4Department of Anesthesiology, Nursing School, Gerash University of Medical Sciences, Gerash, Iran
Correspondence  Mahboobeh Khabaz Mafinejad ,Email: m-mafinejad@tums.ac.ir
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: May 23, 2021  Accepted after revision: June 16, 2021
Abstract
Purpose
Improving physicians’ critical thinking abilities could have meaningful impacts on various aspects of routine medical practice, such as choosing treatment plans, making an accurate diagnosis, and reducing medical errors. The present study aimed to measure the effects of a curriculum integrating critical thinking on medical students’ skills at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran.
Methods
A 1-group pre-test, post-test quasi-experimental design was used to assess medical students’ critical thinking abilities as they progressed from the first week of medical school to middle of the third year of the undergraduate medical curriculum. Fifty-six participants completed the California Critical Thinking Skills Test twice from 2016 to 2019.
Results
Medical students were asked to complete the California Critical Thinking Skills Test the week before their first educational session. The post-test was conducted 6 weeks after the 2 and half-year program. Out of 91 medical students with a mean age of 20±2.8 years who initially participated in the study, 56 completed both the pre- and post-tests. The response rate of this study was 61.5%. The analysis subscale showed the largest change. Significant changes were found in the analysis (P=0.03), evaluation (P=0.04), and inductive reasoning (P<0.0001) subscales, but not in the inference (P=0.28), and deductive reasoning (P=0.42) subscales. There was no significant difference according to gender (P=0.77).
Conclusion
The findings of this study show that a critical thinking program had a substantial effect on medical students’ analysis, inductive reasoning, and evaluation skills, but negligible effects on their inference and deductive reasoning scores.
Keywords: Medical student; Thinking; Curriculum; Educational measurement; Iran
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