Protocol for the ORaClES study: an online randomised controlled trial to improve clinical estimates of survival using a training resource for medical students

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Title: Protocol for the ORaClES study: an online randomised controlled trial to improve clinical estimates of survival using a training resource for medical students
Authors: Oostendorp, L
White, N
Harries, P
Yardley, S
Tomlinson, C
Ricciardi, F
Gokalp, H
Stone, P
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Introduction Clinicians often struggle to recognise when palliative care patients are imminently dying (last 72 hours of life). A previous study identified the factors that expert palliative care doctors (with demonstrated prognostic skills) had used, to form a judgement about which patients were imminently dying. This protocol describes a study to evaluate whether an online training resource showing how experts weighted the importance of various symptoms and signs can teach medical students to formulate survival estimates for palliative care patients that are more similar to the experts’ estimates. Methods and analysis This online double-blind randomised controlled trial will recruit at least 128 students in the penultimate or final year of medical school in the UK. Participants are asked to review three series of vignettes describing patients referred to palliative care and provide an estimate about the probability (0%–100%) that each patient will die within 72 hours. After the first series, students randomised to the intervention arm are given access to an online training resource. All participants are asked to complete a second series of vignettes. After 2 weeks, all participants are asked to complete a third series. The primary outcome will be the probability of death estimates (0%–100%) provided by students in the intervention and control arms for the second series of vignettes. Secondary outcomes include the maintenance effect at 2-week follow-up, weighting of individual symptoms and signs, and level of expertise (discrimination and consistency). Ethics and dissemination Approval has been obtained from the UCL Research Ethics Committee (8675/002) and local approvals will be obtained as appropriate. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals using an open access format and presented at academic conferences. We will also publicise our findings on the Marie Curie website
Issue Date: 1-Feb-2019
Date of Acceptance: 17-Jan-2019
ISSN: 2044-6055
Publisher: BMJ
Journal / Book Title: BMJ Open
Volume: 9
Issue: 3
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC ( No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Article Number: e025265
Online Publication Date: 2019-03-03
Appears in Collections:Division of Surgery
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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