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Educational Intervention
May 1998

Pediatric Residents: Are They Ready to Use Computer-Aided Instruction?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore, Md. Dr Pusic is now with the Pediatric Emergency Department, Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal, Quebec.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(5):494-498. doi:

Objective  To assess pediatric residents' readiness to use computer-aided instruction (CAI).

Design  Survey.

Setting  Pediatric residency program based in a tertiary care children's hospital.

Participants  Four pediatric residency classes.

Assessment Instrument  Self-administered questionnaire.

Main Outcome Measures  Residents' access to computers and the Internet, experience with CD-ROM and World Wide Web computer tutorials, and attitudes toward CAI. Responses were stratified by age, training level, sex, and previous computer education.

Results  Fifty-one (69%) of the residents owned a computer. Men were more likely than women to own a computer (20 [87%] of 23 men vs 31 [61%] of 51 women; P=.02). Medical education software was used by 18 (28%) of 65, but only 2 (4%) of 74 had ever purchased CAI. Twenty-seven (36%) of 74 regularly accessed medical education World Wide Web sites. Nineteen (26%) of 74 had never accessed the Internet. Of those who had, 50 (91%) of 55 continued to do so at least weekly. Eighteen (95%) of the 19 residents who had never accessed the Internet were female (P=.005). Men were twice as likely to have Internet access at home (P=.01) and were more likely to regularly visit medical education World Wide Web sites (P=.02). Attitudes toward CAI were positive. Most respondents would be willing to use CAI developed at their institution. Most residents ranked CAI ahead of printed teaching materials but behind personal teaching by a pediatrician. Attitudes did not differ by sex.

Conclusion  Despite positive attitudes toward CAI, pediatric residents are not yet universally ready to use CAI.