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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 163-167

A time-efficient model of spreading health awareness which also provides good experiential learning to medical students

1 Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Undergraduate Medical Students, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dharav Sunil Shah
602, Sai Krishna Kunj, D. N. Nagar, Andheri West, Mumbai - 400 053, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_245_16

Background: Although alcohol and tobacco are leading causes of mortality and morbidity, their use continues to be common. We hypothesized that awareness about this issue can be spread in a time-efficient way if health talks are conducted within hospital premises itself. Furthermore, this could potentially provide good experiential learning to medical students. Methods: In this longitudinal study, we implemented such an awareness activity and evaluated the outcome. Students who showed interest to volunteer were helped to develop an in-depth understanding of the issue, through detailed presentation and discussions. They conducted health talks near the wards, with patients and their relatives, after routine college hours. An iterative process was used to improve the health talk, based on self-reflection and formative feedback. A pre- and post-self-assessment of students regarding their knowledge and skills on this issue was obtained. A structured, anonymous questionnaire was administered to the audience before and after three of the educational talks. Results: In 29 days, our team of 24 students gave 21 health talks reaching out to 1090 rural people. Pre–post analysis of audience showed improvement in their awareness level and many developed the motivation to quit their addictions. Self-rating of students across all knowledge domains increased by at least 2 points (scale of 1–7) and across all skill domains, it increased by 3 points (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: This model of conducting health talks in hospital premises can enable us to spread health awareness effectively, in a time-efficient and cost-effective way. Furthermore, this model can prove to be a novel and effective academic tool for grooming medical students.

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