OBJECTIVE: To compare an interactive web-based teaching tool with traditional didactic learning in a classroom format to educate in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study recruited 50 women undergoing their first cycle of IVF at the Ottawa Fertility Centre (Ontario Canada). Patients completed a baseline knowledge questionnaire and stress survey and were then randomized to one of two conditions: (a) an interactive web-based teaching tool or(b) a nurse-led teaching session. Aftercompletion of the education, patients began their IVF cycle. All subjects completed a post-intervention knowledge questionnaire, stress survey, satisfaction survey and demographic questionnaire prior to starting IVF. A second satisfaction survey was completed at embryo transfer. The primary outcome measure was the level of knowledge after the intervention. RESULTS: Using an independent t-test, pre and post intervention knowledge scores were compared, which revealed no significant differences between groups prior to the intervention [t(37) = -0.823, P>.05]. A paired samples t-test indicated that both groups showed significant improvement between their pre and post intervention scores [Web-based: t(20) = -5.379, P=0.00; Classroom-based: t(20) = -4.826, P=0.00]. The independent-t test showed no significant difference between groups for post-knowledge scores [t (37) = -0.475, P>.05]. CONCLUSION: This is the first known study to examine interactive web- based learning as an option for IVF patients. The present study supports the use of web-based learning as an equally effective tool for medical education in IVF patients. This approach provides several advantages, including information accessibility, flexibility of delivery and cost. Further analyses will examine level of satisfaction with both formats, as well as stress levels before and after the intervention.
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