Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2007 San Antonio Meeting

Poster Presentation:

A brief intervention teaches medical students about childhood aggression


 Peter A Brokish; Seth J Scholer, MD, MPH; Joseph Gigante, MD Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee

 Design/Methods: A convenience sample of Vanderbilt University 3rd year medical students participated by independently viewing the Play Nicely program, a 40 minute program that teaches the basics in childhood aggression management. Participants completed three on-line surveys: baseline, immediately post-viewing, and 2 months post-viewing. In the baseline and 2 month post intervention surveys, students were asked how they would counsel the mother of a 3 year old boy with hurtful behavior. Students were asked to list all counseling topics that they would discuss. We compared pre and post data using the chi-squared test.

Results: The 65 medical students had an average age of 25.7 years and 55% were male. Compared with baseline, perceived ability to counsel parents about childhood aggression was increased at the 2 month follow-up (p<0.001). A higher proportion of medical students recommended setting the rule, redirecting, promoting empathy, consistency, and not using physical punishment at the 2 month follow-up.

Conclusions: A brief, independently-viewed curriculum addition improved the repertoire of medical students related to managing childhood aggression in addition to increasing their comfort level with counseling parents. Post intervention, students were more likely to mention using less coercive disciplining strategies, suggesting that the program has implications for violence prevention.