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G. Elhady, M. AbdelRazik, H. Zaghloul

Cairo University, Faculty of Medicine (EGYPT)
Public health (PH) education is confronted with enormous and diverse medical, socio-demographic, environmental, and statistical information. Thus, for PH students, it is essential to learn the holistic approach in studying PH and planning for and evaluating health systems. New approaches in public health teaching and learning are continuously encouraged to respond to the dynamics of public health. Yet, there is a considerable challenge of imparting such large amount of knowledge within a limited time period in a way it is remembered and effectively interpreted by students.

Develop an innovative approach to public health education using an electronic infographic (e-infographic) and testing its effect on retrieval of the holistic interconnected information in PH.

Methods: An intervention, pretest-posttest study design was used. The intervention included designing an interactive e-infographic module of three blocks representing the whole PH curriculum as follows: the first block is a triangle representing epidemiology (disease determinants: host, agent and environment), the second block is a smiley face representing the health system and health care programs (input, process, output, outcome and impact) and the third block is two triangles representing principles of prevention and control of health problems. The module presents 75 key PH issues (information) in an integrated manner. Study setting and participants included: PH lecturers (n=7) and postgraduates (n=9) in the Faculty of Medicine, and all third year undergraduate students in the Faculty of nursing (n=77; 61 females and 16 males). Quantitative pretest-posttest structured self-administered questionnaire, tackling the 75 key issues, was used for the nursing students. Qualitative data were collected through four focus group discussions conducted for the three groups of participants.

Quantitative data showed that the percentages of key information points (presented in the module) brought up by the undergraduates were 8.6 % (pre-intervention) and 82% (post-intervention) (P= 0.00, OR= 50.06, CI= 44.65-56.12). The infographic module increased the capacity of information retention 50 times the basic traditional method of teaching. There was no gender specific pattern in the scores derived from responses for each question. Qualitative information indicated that, before intervention, almost all participants were suffering from dispersion of PH information and its multi-disciplinary nature. After exposure to the module, participants expressed satisfaction because PH topics were represented in one step-by-step intelligent graph. They affirmed that it facilitated building different ideas in one comprehensive graph. However, they revealed the need for repeated self-trial and learning to build capacity in using the module in teaching; especially electronic teaching, and studying.

Upgrading the teaching methods through infographic blocks could facilitate retrieval of holistic information during PH learning.