Document Type : Original Article


Associate Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to assess the contribution of digital education to the enhancement of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and satisfaction of medical students learning communication skills in comparison to various controls. Material and Methods: In order to find randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cluster RCTs (cRCTs) published between January 1990 and September 2018, we conducted a systematic review and searched seven electronic databases and two trial registries. Two reviewers independently examined the citations, gathered information from the studies that were included, and determined the bias risk. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations assessment (GRADE) was used to evaluate the quality of the evidence as well. Results: The quality of the evidence varied from moderate to very low, and the overall risk of bias was high. A meta-analysis of four studies comparing the effectiveness of blended digital education (i.e., online or offline digital education plus traditional learning) and traditional learning revealed no statistically significant difference in postintervention skills scores between the groups for the skills outcome. Conclusion: We found low-quality evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of digital education in the development of communication skills in medical students as compared to traditional learning. For knowledge and communication skills, blended digital education appears to be at least as effective as traditional learning and possibly even more so.


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