Assessing the effectiveness of tumour board education among medical students: a pre-post-test analysis

10 Jul 2024
Fatima Shaukat, Tayyab Siddiqui, Yumna Ahmed, Muneeba Khan, Mariam Fahim, Asna Noor, Agha Muhammad Hammad Khan, Ahmed Nadeem Abbasi

Introduction: Multidisciplinary tumour boards (MDTs) play a vital role in providing high-quality cancer care. In Pakistan’s compromised healthcare system, there is a lack of tumour board establishment. To bridge this gap, we aimed to enhance medical education by exposing medical students to the processes and advantages of MDTs early in their careers through conducting a mock tumour board. This approach seeks to provide students with a practical understanding of cancer care and the collaborative decision-making involved in managing cancer patients.

Methodology: A session took place at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in May, 2023, with participants voluntarily agreeing to attend. This session comprised six components: a Pretest questionnaire, a didactic lecture on the concept of tumour boards, an interactive group discussion following the lecture, a simulated tumour case presentation, a workshop simulating a tumour board scenario and a Posttest questionnaire.

Results: A total of 80 participants were included in the study. The mean age of study participants was 22. Among these, 36 (45%) were in their final year, 34 (42.5%) in their fourth year and 10 (12.5%) in their third year. While the majority of students possessed a fundamental understanding of tumour boards, they lacked awareness regarding their importance, implementation and procedural aspects involved. Before the mock tumour board, 53 (66.3%) students were unfamiliar with tumour board procedures; post-workshop, all 80 (100%) gained awareness of the process. Additionally, the study showed a positive shift in perceptions regarding the cost-effectiveness of tumour boards. Initially, 44(55%) students responded with ’maybe’ regarding tumour board’s cost-effectiveness, but after training, 64 (80%) perceived it as cost-effective from patient’s perspective. Moreover, students’ overall pretest score was 66.5%, and posttest was 94.62%., showing an overall difference in knowledge of 28%.

Conclusion: The mock tumour board workshop successfully heightened students’ understanding of tumour board procedures, positively shaped their views on cost-effectiveness, and resulted in a noteworthy enhancement of their knowledge scores. Organising similar workshops for undergraduates offers a practical approach to bridging the current gap in the establishment of tumour boards in the future in Pakistan.

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