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Tutorial Improves Doctor Comfort With Down Syndrome

Last Updated: September 18, 2009.

An interactive tutorial involving hypothetical patient scenarios improves residents' knowledge and comfort in delivering a diagnosis of Down syndrome, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

FRIDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- An interactive tutorial involving hypothetical patient scenarios improves residents' knowledge and comfort in delivering a diagnosis of Down syndrome, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Harold L. Kleinert, Ed.D., from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and colleagues developed an interactive tutorial using virtual patient cases to examine the knowledge and comfort level of residents in obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics in delivering a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Residents were at 16 programs nationally and 128 to 214 residents completed the various tests.

The researchers found that after taking the tutorial, there was significant improvement in knowledge of Down syndrome and a greater level of comfort with scenarios typically encountered in delivering such a diagnosis. Residents from both specialties had similar levels of improvement.

"This interactive tutorial is effective in improving physicians' knowledge of and comfort level with imparting accurate, balanced information about Down syndrome pre- and postnatally," Kleinert and colleagues conclude. "Interestingly, the greatest gains in knowledge occurred for first-year residents."

The study was also presented in January at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San Diego.

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