The baroreceptor reflex brought to life outside the classroom - an e-learning based asynchronous laboratory class using a non-supervised modified Active Standing Test


BACKGROUND: E-learning based laboratory classes can replace or enhance in-classroom laboratories. They typically offer temporal flexibility, self-determined learning speed, repeatability and do not require supervision or face-to-face contact. The aim of this feasibility study was to investigate whether the established in-classroom laboratory class on the baroreceptor reflex (BRR) can be transformed into a new e-learning based asynchronous laboratory class for untrained, non-supervised students without medical equipment. The BRR is a fundamental cardiovascular process which is regularly visualized in physiology during in-classroom laboratories by a student-performed Active Standing Test (AST). During this voluntary provocation of orthostatic stress, the BRR reliably causes a solid rise in heart rate (HR) and a stabilization or even increase in blood pressure (BP).

METHODS: The conventional AST was modified by omission of BP measurements which would require medical devices and was embedded into a framework of interactive digital material allowing independent student performance. With specific adaptions, this instrument was implemented to 1st and 2nd year curricula of human medicine, dental medicine, midwifery and pharmacy. An audience response system was used to collect the students' data on HR, epidemiology, technical problems, satisfaction and orthostatic symptoms. As primary outcome, we investigated the students' correct performance of the modified AST regarding textbook conformity of the HR data. Secondary outcomes included technical feasibility, the students' satisfaction and consistency of HR data within predefined subgroups (e.g., gender, curricula). Descriptive statistics are reported.

RESULTS: The class was completed by 217 students (mean age: 23 ± 8 [SD], 81% female, 19% male). Mean reported rise of HR during standing was ~ 20 bpm (~ 30%) which is highly concordant to textbooks. Reported feasibility (~ 80% negated any technical issues) and students' satisfaction (4.4 on 5-point Likert-scale) were high. The HR data were consistent within the subgroups.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the highly relevant BRR can be successfully addressed in an e-learning based asynchronous laboratory class implementing a non-supervised AST restricted to HR measurements embedded in digital material. The robust HR response and the adjustable complexity allow an application to different healthcare-related curricula. This class, therefore, provides a broad audience access to a fundamental concept of cardiovascular physiology.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 01.07.2022

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© 2022. The Author(s).

PubMed 35778720