Background: Stem cell science is rapidly developing with the potential to alleviate many non-treatable diseases. Medical students, as future physicians, should be equipped with the proper knowledge and attitude regarding this hopeful field. Interactive teaching, whereby the teachers actively involve the students in the learning process, is a promising approach to improve their interest, knowledge, and team spirit. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive teaching intervention on medical students' knowledge and attitudes about stem cell research and therapy.
Methods: A pre-post test study design was employed. A six-session interactive teaching course was conducted for a duration of six weeks as an intervention. Pre- and post-intervention surveys were used. The differences in the mean scores of students' knowledge and attitudes were examined using paired t-test, while gender differences were examined using an independent t-test.
Results: Out of 71 sixth-year medical students from different nationalities invited to participate in this study, the interactive teaching course was initiated by 58 students resulting in a participation rate of 81.7%. Out of 58 students, 48 (82.8%) completed the entire course. The mean age (standard deviation) of students was 24 (1.2) years, and 32 (66.7%) were males. The results showed poor knowledge about stem cells among the medical students in the pre-intervention phase. Total scores of stem cell-related knowledge and attitudes significantly improved post-intervention. Gender differences in knowledge and attitudes scores were not statistically significant post-intervention.
Conclusions: Integrating stem cell science into medical curricula coupled with interactive learning approaches effectively increased students' knowledge about recent advances in stem cell research and therapy and improved attitudes toward stem cell research and applications.
Keywords: Arab; Attitudes; Education; Interactive teaching; Jordan; Knowledge; Medical curriculum; Stem cells; Students.