gms | German Medical Science

Research in Medical Education – Chances and Challenges International Conference

20.05. - 22.05.2009, Heidelberg

Efficacy of a peer-assisted skills training for students in obstetrics and gynecology

Meeting Abstract

Research in Medical Education - Chances and Challenges 2009. Heidelberg, 20.-22.05.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09rmeB4

doi: 10.3205/09rme09, urn:nbn:de:0183-09rme097

Published: May 5, 2009

© 2009 Frobenius et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: What is the efficacy of a peer-assisted skills training for students during a gynecological and obstetric practical course in the formative theoretical and practical examination (objective structured clinical examination, "Mini-OSCE") (primary end point)? How do students who have been taught in this way rate the educational quality, teaching atmosphere, personal learning progress, and this type of practical course overall (secondary end points)?

Methods: Following the implementation of a skills training section during the practical course, students (n=139) were randomly assigned to 24 groups. Most of the groups consisted of six participants. Half of these groups, with a total of 71 students, received peer teaching during skills training, while the other half (n=68) were taught by postgraduate lecturers. The rest of the one-week practical course, including the theoretical and practical examination, was identical for all groups. The results of this also newly implemented "Mini-OSCE" (primary end point) and the results of the evaluation before (comparability of the groups) and after the practical course (secondary end points) were analyzed.

Results: The groups taught by faculty staff did not differ with regard to age, sex, number of completed semesters, or prior specialist training from the students who were taught by the peer teachers. In the purely practical OSCE stations, the students in the postgraduate group achieved 58.26 ± 3.2 (95% CI, 57.5–59.5) of 62 points, while in the peer teacher group they scored 58.82 ± 2.6 (95% CI, 58.2–59.4) (p = 0.27). In dealing with the case descriptions, for which material taught to both groups in seminars by postgraduate lecturers was relevant, the postgraduate group achieved 26.52 ± 3.2 (95% CI, 25.7–27.3) of 30 points, while in the peer teacher group the figure was 26.29 ± 2.7 (95% CI, 25.6–27.0) (p = 0.64). In the final evaluation regarding the motivation of the trainers, the teaching atmosphere, and the effectiveness of preparation for the practical examination, there were no significant differences. The postgraduate lecturers only had significantly better results than the peer teachers in connection with conveying the theoretical background and responding to questions.

Conclusions: For communicating the principles of basic practical medical skills in a gynecological practical course, teaching by specially trained peers is just as effective as teaching by postgraduate teachers [1], [2], [3] (see table 1 [Tab. 1], 2 [Tab. 2], 3 [Tab. 3]).


Weyrich P, Celebi N, Schrauth M, Möltner A, Lammerding-Köppel M, Nikendei C. Peer-assisted versus faculty staff-led skills laboratory training: a randomised controlled trial. Med Educ. 2009;43(2):113-120. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03252.x. External link
Heckmann JG, Dütsch M, Rauch C, Lang C, Weih M, Schwab S. Effects of peer-assisted training during the neurology clerkship: a randomized controlled study. Eur J Neurol. 2008;15(12):1365-1370. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2008.02317.x. External link
Möltner A, Schellberg D, Jünger J. Grundlegende quantitative Analysen medizinischer Prüfungen. GMS Z Med Ausbild. 2006;23(3);Doc53. Zugänglich unter: External link