Training in iterativer Hypothesenbildung in der psychiatrischen Lehre: Eine randomisierte Studie

Translated title of the contribution: Training in iterative hypothesis testing as part of psychiatric education: A randomized study

S. Lampen-Imkamp, C. Alte, V. Sipos, A. Kordon, F. Hohagen, U. Schweiger, K. G. Kahl*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Summary: Background: The improvement of medical education is at the center of efforts to reform the studies of medicine. Furthermore, an excellent teaching program for students is a quality feature of medical universities. Besides teaching of disease-specific contents, the acquisition of interpersonal and decision-making skills is important. However, the cognitive style of senior physicians leading to a diagnosis cannot easily be taught. Therefore, the following study aimed at examining whether specific training in iterative hypothesis testing (IHT) may improve the correctness of the diagnostic process. Materials and methods: Seventy-one medical students in their 9th-11th terms were randomized to medical teaching as usual or to IHT training for 4 weeks. The intervention group received specific training according to the method of IHT. All students were examined by a multiple choice (MC) exam and additionally by simulated patients (SP). The SPs were instructed to represent either a patient with depression and comorbid anxiety and substance use disorder (SP1) or to represent a patient with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and acute suicidal tendencies (SP2). Results: All students identified the diagnosis of major depression in the SPs, but IHT-trained students recognized more diagnostic criteria. Furthermore, IHT-trained students recognized acute suicide tendencies in SP2 more often and identified more comorbid psychiatric disorders. The results of the MC exam were comparable in both groups. An analysis of the satisfaction with the different training programs revealed that the IHT training received a better appraisal. Conclusions: Our results point to the role of IHT in teaching diagnostic skills. However, the results of the MC exam were not influenced by IHT training. Furthermore, our results show that students are in need of training in practical clinical skills.

Translated title of the contributionTraining in iterative hypothesis testing as part of psychiatric education: A randomized study
Original languageGerman
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.2012

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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