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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 64-68

Perceived role of the journal clubs in teaching critical appraisal skills: A survey of surgical trainees in Nigeria


1 Department of Surgery, Divisions of Plastic Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
3 Department of General Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
4 Department of Urology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdulrasheed Ibrahim
Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1117-6806.137292

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Background: Critical appraisal skills allow surgeons to evaluate the literature in an objective and structured manner, with emphasis on the validity of the evidence. The development of skills in critical acquisition and appraisal of the literature is crucial to delivering quality surgical care. It is also widely accepted that journal clubs are a time-honored educational paradigm for teaching and development of critical appraisal skills. The aim of this study is to determine the perceived role of journal clubs in teaching critical appraisal skills amongst the surgical trainees in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: The West African College of Surgeons and the National Postgraduate College of Nigeria have mandated that all residency programs teach and assess the ability to develop critical appraisal skills when reviewing the scientific literature. Residents at the revision course of the West African College of Surgeons in September 2012 evaluated the role of journal clubs in teaching critical appraisal skills using a 17-item questionnaire. The questionnaire addressed four areas: Format, teaching and development of critical appraisal s kills, and evaluation. Results: Most of the journal clubs meet weekly [39 (59%)] or monthly [25 (38%)]. Thirty-nine residents (59%) perceived the teaching model employed in the development of critical appraisal skills in their institutions was best characterized by "discussion/summary by consultants" and "emphasis on formal suggestion for improvement in research." Rating the importance of development of critical appraisal skills to the objectives of the residency program and practice of evidence-based medicine, majority of the residents [65 (98%)] felt it was "very important." The commonest form of feedback was verbal from the consultants and residents [50 (76%)]. Conclusion: The perceived importance of journal clubs to the development of critical appraisal skills was rated as very important by the residents. However, residents indicated a need for a formal evaluation of the journal clubs. It is our hope that the results of this survey will encourage postgraduate coordinators to evaluate the quality of their journal clubs in the development of skills in critical appraisal of the literature.


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