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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 216-218

Data entry skills in a computer-based spread sheet amongst postgraduate medical students: A simulation based descriptive assessment


1 Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Amir Maroof Khan
Department of Community Medicine, Room No. 409, 4th Floor, Academic Block, University College of Medical Sciences, Shahdara, New Delhi - 110 095
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.141613

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Background: In India, research work in the form of a thesis is a mandatory requirement for the postgraduate (PG) medical students. Data entry in a computer-based spread sheet is one of the important basic skills for research, which has not yet been studied. This study was conducted to assess the data entry skills of the 2 nd year PG medical students of a medical college of North India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted among 111 second year PG students by using four simulated filled case record forms and a computer-based spread sheet in which data entry was to be carried out. Results: On a scale of 0-10, only 17.1% of the students scored more than seven. The specific sub-skills that were found to be lacking in more than half of the respondents were as follows: Inappropriate coding (93.7%), long variable names (51.4%), coding not being done for all the variables (76.6%), missing values entered in a non-uniform manner (84.7%) and two variables entered in the same column in the case of blood pressure reading (80.2%). Conclusion: PG medical students were not found to be proficient in data entry skill and this can act as a barrier to do research. This being a first of its kind study in India, more research is needed to understand this issue and then include this yet neglected aspect in teaching research methodology to the medical students.


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