Epistaxis is a common problem faced by primary care physicians. Typically, first-hand experience with this problem is not obtained in medical school. A computer learning module was developed to address practical management of epistaxis. It was evaluated by use of third-year clerks and compared with an interactive seminar based on the same material. Fifty-eight students doing their required otolaryngology rotations were randomly separated into 3 groups: (1) doing a preinstruction test, (2) using the computer module, and (3) participating in a small-group seminar. All participants were tested with a short written test and a practical test that involved performing anterior nasal pack placement in a model patient. Percentage scores for the 2 groups were compared by use of t tests, and there was no significant difference between the written, practical, or combined scores at a level where P = 0.05. This study shows that basic patient management and a simple procedure can be taught as effectively with a computer module as with a small-group interactive seminar.
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