Therapeutic misunderstanding among future clinicians and researchers; Attitudes towards increased exposure to clinical research ethics in undergraduate medical education a pilot study
Gregorio, Matthew Stephen
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Background: Therapeutic misunderstanding (TMU) and its three facets: therapeutic misconception, therapeutic misestimation, and therapeutic optimism have been identified as major challenges to the ethical conduct of clinical research and obtaining informed consent from research participants. However, the prevalence of TMU among clinicians and researchers has not been explored. Since most physicians will be exposed to clinical research over the course of their career, the understanding of clinical research procedures is important. In this study we attempted to determine the prevalence of TMU among medical students: future clinicians. Methods: Twenty-two BUSM undergraduate medical students took part in a two-part, survey evaluating the prevalence of therapeutic misunderstanding using "The Therapeutic Misunderstanding Scale". The attitudes of the students towards increasing the exposure to clinical research topics through the medical school curriculum were also determined. Results: The majority of the medical students exhibited therapeutic misunderstanding, particularly in the area of therapeutic misconception. In particular, the misunderstanding the difference between evidence-based clinical care versus hypothesis driven clinical research was exhibited. Although there was strong agreement that education in clinical research and clinical research ethics was important, the participants though increases of clinical research topics in the curriculum was not needed. Conclusions: The increased prevalence of TMU among future physicians underscores the need to teach clinical research and research ethics. Further research on a larger sample needed to validate the findings.
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