Background: Art-based interventions are widely used in medical education. However, data on the potential effects of art-based interventions on medical students have been limited to small qualitative studies on students' evaluation of elective programs, and thus their findings may be difficult to generalize. The goal of this study is to examine, in an unselected students 'population, the effect of students' gender, ethnicity and attitude towards poetry on their evaluation of a clinically-integrated poetry-based educational intervention. Methods: A required Clinically-Oriented Poetry-reading Experience (COPE) is integrated into the 4th year internal medicine clerkship. We constructed a questionnaire regarding the program's effects on students. Students completed the questionnaire at the end of the clerkship. We performed a Confirmatory Factor Analysis, and examined the relationship between students' evaluation of the program and students' ethnicity, gender, attitude towards poetry-reading, and the timing of the program (early/late) during the fourth year. Results: 144 students participated in the program, of which 112 completed the questionnaires. We identified two effect factors: "student-patient" and "self and colleagues". The average score for "student-patient" factor was significantly higher as compared to the "self and colleagues" factor. Evaluation the "student-patient" effect factor was higher among Arab and Druze as compared to Jewish students. Students' attitude towards poetry-reading did not correlate with the "student-patient" effect, but correlated with the "self and colleagues " effect. The evaluation of the "self and colleagues" effect was higher among students who participated in the program during their second as compared with the first clerkship. Students' gender was not associated with any of the effects identified. Students favored obligatory participation in COPE as compared with elective course format. Conclusions: According to students' evaluation, a format of integrated, obligatory poetry-based intervention may be suitable for enhancing "student-patient" aims in heterogeneous student populations. The higher evaluation of the "patient-student" effect among Arab and Druze as compared to Jewish students may be related to cultural differences in the perception of this component of medical professionalism. Further research can provide insight into the effect of cultural and ethnic differences on actual empathy of medical students in patient encounters.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 Muszkat et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
- Art-based intervention
- Medical education
- Medical humanities