You Have a Message! Social Networking As a Motivator for Fls Training

Andrea M Petrucci, MD, Pepa Kaneva, MSc, Ekaterina Lebedeva, MLIS, Liane S Feldman, MD, Gerald M Fried, MD, Melina C Vassiliou, MD. McGill University Health Center


INTRODUCTION: Despite evidence supporting the value of FLS, surgical educators still find it challenging to motivate residents to practice. Web 2.0 technologies allow users to interact with, and contribute to material online. Examples include social networking and collaboration websites, and many learners are accustomed to these new communication platforms. Wiggio (W-I-G stands for Working In Groups) is an online tool that allows learners to track performance, see what their peers are doing and send and receive updates by email or SMS. The purpose of this study was to assess whether using Wiggio impacts practice patterns and performance of the FLS manual skills.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES: After baseline FLS testing, PGY-1 and PGY-2 general surgery residents were randomized into control (C) and Wiggio (W) groups. Online tutorials and logsheets were distributed to all participants to track practice events, time spent practicing and best scores. Each group practiced without proctoring. Residents in the Wiggio group interacted with each other via the Wiggio website. The website moderator sent motivational messages, calendar reminders and FLS-related articles. Best times and progress graphs for each resident were also posted online. After 4 weeks, all residents underwent final FLS testing. Data are presented as means (SD) and compared using t-tests and nonparametric tests.

RESULTS: Fourteen residents were enrolled in the study, 7 in each group. During the study period, twice as many residents in the Wiggio group practiced compared to the control group (4 vs 2), had more practice events than the control group (14 vs 4) and spent more time practicing in the lab (1035 vs 480 min), although these results did not reach statistical significance. During practice sessions, proficiency scores were achieved for 40% of the tasks in the Wiggio group compared to 8.6% in the control group however, this difference was also not significant. FLS scores were similar at baseline (C 56.9 (SD); W 57. 6(SD) p= 0.93). Final scores in both groups improved compared to baseline, yet final scores in the Wiggio group were not better than the control group(C 76.5 (SD), W 73.3 (SD); p=0.73). The moderator spent an average of 6.5 minutes per day sending messages and managing the Wiggio website.

CONCLUSION: Participation in Wiggio seems to increase practice events and time spent in the lab for FLS training, however, further research with more subjects is needed to confirm these findings. Social networking can play a role in surgical education and learner motivation; the optimal use of Web 2.0 tools into resident education remains to be explored.

Session Number: Poster – Poster Presentations
Program Number: P170
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