Undergraduate medical education in substance abuse: A review of the quality of the literature

Devyani Kothari, Marc Gourevitch, Joshua Lee, Ellie Grossman, Andrea Truncali, Tavinder K. Ark, Adina L. Kalet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Purpose: To prepare to develop a medical school curriculum on substance abuse disorders (SADs), the authors conducted a review of the quality of the sparse published literature. Method: The authors searched MEDLINE (1950 through December 2008) using OVID, PsycINFO, and PubMed to identify all studies of SAD interventions targeted toward undergraduate medical students. Of the 1,084 studies identified initially, 31 reported sufficient data to allow the authors to evaluate quality using Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI) scores. The authors also determined the impact of the studies by considering three-year citation rate and journal impact factor. A detailed review of the literature provided data on contact hours and intervention content. Results: The three-rater intraclass correlation coefficient for total MERSQI score was 0.82 (95% confidence interval: 0.70-0.90). The mean MERSQI score was 10.42 of a possible 18 (SD 2.59; range: 6.33-14.83). MERSQI scores were higher for more recently published studies and correlated with three-year citation rate but not impact factor. The mean contact time for 26 studies was 29.25 hours (range: 0.83-200 hours). Conclusions: The literature provides a variety of educational methods to train medical students in SAD detection and intervention skills. This literature is of variable quality and provides limited guidance for development of curricula and medical education policy. Better methods of curriculum evaluation and publication guidelines would help ensure that this literature has a positive impact on educational practice and public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-112
Number of pages15
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume86
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

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Undergraduate Medical Education
Medical Education
substance abuse
Substance-Related Disorders
Biomedical Research
Curriculum
education
Medical Students
Substance Abuse Detection
Journal Impact Factor
Public Health Practice
medical student
contact
curriculum evaluation
Medical Schools
PubMed
MEDLINE
curriculum
Publications
educational practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Undergraduate medical education in substance abuse : A review of the quality of the literature. / Kothari, Devyani; Gourevitch, Marc; Lee, Joshua; Grossman, Ellie; Truncali, Andrea; Ark, Tavinder K.; Kalet, Adina L.

In: Academic Medicine, Vol. 86, No. 1, 2011, p. 98-112.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Kothari, Devyani ; Gourevitch, Marc ; Lee, Joshua ; Grossman, Ellie ; Truncali, Andrea ; Ark, Tavinder K. ; Kalet, Adina L. / Undergraduate medical education in substance abuse : A review of the quality of the literature. In: Academic Medicine. 2011 ; Vol. 86, No. 1. pp. 98-112.
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