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Precepting genital exams: challenges in implementing a complex educational intervention in the continuity clinic

Precepting genital exams: challenges in implementing a complex educational intervention in the continuity clinic

Ambulatory Pediatrics 5(2): 112-116

The female genital exam is often omitted from the routine physical. This limits familiarity with normal findings and represents a missed opportunity to evaluate girls for urogenital abnormalities. Continuity clinic offers an opportunity to develop and test a teaching intervention to address this problem. To describe the effect of precepted genital exams on resident confidence and comfort with the exam as well as knowledge and documentation of genital anatomy. A controlled trial was conducted in 10 continuity clinics at Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. Residents in 5 clinics reviewed genital anatomy, exam positions, and documentation examples. They were asked to complete 6 precepted exams of girls aged 1-6 years during well-child care over a 6-month period. Residents were given pre- and posttests assessing knowledge of, confidence, and comfort with the genital exam. Pre- and poststudy genital exam documentation was reviewed. Ninety-seven percent of the intervention group, compared to 73% of the control group, answered 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale of confidence with regard to recognizing a normal exam (5 = highest) following the intervention (P = .01). Ninety-four percent of the intervention group and 64% of the control group answered 4 or 5 with regard to how comfortable they were performing genital exams (P = .01). Knowledge scores and documentation of genital anatomy did not differ between groups. Thirty-two percent of residents had the full intervention. Resident confidence and comfort increase with precepting. Precepting did not improve knowledge or documentation of genital anatomy. We advocate use of this preliminary data to design and test future educational interventions.

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Accession: 049973308

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PMID: 15780013

DOI: 10.1367/a04-045r1.1

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