Objective: This article reviews the existing literature on the use of computer assisted instruction (CAI) in the field of psychiatry to answer the questions, 1) Is CAI an effective tool for teaching psychiatry? and 2) What are the best methods for studying CAI in a real-world training environment? Method: A Medline search was conducted for relevant articles, which were divided into three categories: media comparative (head-to-head trials), demonstration (reports of single CAI interventions), or analytical (commentary/reviews). Results: Twenty articles were identified. Although they tend to show that CAI is as good as or sometimes better than traditional teaching methods, the data are extremely variable and there are significant methodological difficulties that complicate interpretation of the data. These problems are consistent with difficulties experienced in other medical specialties when studying CAI. Conclusions: It is difficult to draw conclusions about the efficacy of CAI in psychiatry from this disparate sample of articles. Efforts to compare CAI interventions with traditional teaching methods have significant inherent limitations and biases and are very difficult to conduct in a naturalistic educational setting. The author offers alternative approaches to studying CAI in psychiatry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health