ERIC Number: ED268935
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: 0
Text Comprehension and Expertise in the Domain of Medicine.
Coughlin, Lorence D.; Patel, Vimla L.
The effects of the randomization of information in clinical cases on the comprehension of 16 physicians and 16 medical students were studied, using structured and unstructured forms of two clinical cases. Attention was directed to the effects of case difficulty and text structure on representations of cases in written protocols, ability to access the relevant and critical information in the cases, and ability to generate diagnoses. The research paradigm was drawn from cognitive science and the analysis techniques were based on the techniques of discourse analysis. when viewed in terms of assessing "relevant" information, major findings indicate that both experts and novices in medicine are affected by the structural form of clinical cases and that this effect interacts with the difficulty level of the case. These effects were not present when viewed in terms of access to "critical" information. The comprehension of information in an easier clinical case was found to replicate the findings of studies in other areas of expertise. Difficult cases were found to be processed in a different manner. Experts were differentiated from novices by their ability to selectively encode relevant and critical case information and by the quality of their diagnoses. (Author/SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, New York, NY.; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (70th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).